Eric Gordon inks offer sheet with Phoenix Suns, the wait is on


PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns finally got that offer sheet signed by New Orleans restricted free agent Eric Gordon, the team announced today.

The Hornets will have three days to match the four-year, $58 million offer, something that ESPN’s Ric Bucher said they would do. The news came in a few hours after Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said there were “no meaningful discussions” regarding a sign-and-trade for the 6-foot-3 guard prior to the offer sheet being signed.

“They didn’t really want to engage in those discussions,” said Babby, who held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the Steve Nash trade to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Babby didn’t hint at knowing whether the Hornets would match the offer.

“We’ll see what they do,” he said. “We’re a pretty carefully prepared bunch … and we just have to play it out. We know the risks associated with it and have our plans mapped out accordingly to hopefully getting Eric.

“If they for some reason decide to match despite his desires to be here, then we will be ready to move in that direction,” Babby added. “There’s certainly a disadvantage to having your money tied up, but those are the rules.”

At the earlier presser, Babby expressed his pleasure with the recruitment of Gordon. Whether New Orleans matches or not, the signed offer sheet will undoubtedly be used as proof that the Suns’ front office can recruit free agents to the desert.

And in what is the first regularly-scheduled offseason with Babby and general manager Lance Blanks running the show, the recruiting pitch to Gordon — perhaps the second-best free agent target behind Deron Williams — can be viewed as a positive sign.

“At the time Lance and I have been here, we have done everything we can to enhance those things that make this a player-friendly environment,” Babby said. “We were just champing at the bit to present our case to free agents. Eric Gordon was really the first one who came in.

Added Babby: “We made our recruiting pitch, we presented who were were as an organization, we introduced him to Robert (Sarver), we introduced him to our staff, our entire organization rallied around the entire effort. They met him on the street, we delivered materials to him, but most importantly, he got the sense how badly he was wanted here. He left wanting to be here, and expressing that his heart was in Phoenix, I think was the phrase he used.”

Of course, the success will be significantly better for Phoenix if Eric Gordon is walking through those US Airways Center doors in the coming week.

  • Jason A.

    @Andy, at 20 ppg the contract is considered sound, arguably a value.

  • joey

    can anyone in their right mind tell me how someone who scores 20ppg not worth 6mil? if beasley scores 20ppg of course he’s worth every penny. that’s what the suns need. ridiculous

  • Andy

    And @joey.

    1) Frye is and was overpaid. A lot of people, including myself and a writer on this very blog (http://valleyofthesuns.com/2010/07/02/suns-retain-channing-frye-but-did-they-overpay/) thought so at the time.
    2) As far as win shares, it’s important to note that no (at least no statistic I know of) claims to tell you who is BETTER at something. It tells you who has played better, in the past. Or at least in that specific window. The similarity score isn’t saying Beasley is worse than Powe or Fortson, it’s saying that those are players who fit his position profile who produced at similar levels to this point in their career. Now, there’s a premium to be paid for potential, but my point there is that we are paying a HUGE premium for potential given his productivity thus far. (To be clear, it DOES say Ryan Anderson has played much better, and that JJ Hickson has played better per minute, but the disparity there is big enough I’m not trying to build any huge thing out of it.)
    3) The SF/PF thing is really, really important. I think you’re probably right, he’s better as a 4. (I’ve seen other stuff saying the same thing: http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2012/7/10/3146311/who-is-michael-beasley#storyjump ) If we’re going to use him primarily as a 4, I like this deal a lot more. The problem with that, of course, is we have too many 4′s. Even if we use Frye as a backup center (and I guess let Lopez walk?), Morris, Hak, and Beasley are all competing at the 4, and we have no real 3. I’m worried we’re going to move Dudley to the 2, and Beasley to the 3. And that’s not going to help either of them.
    4) Dragic’s limited numbers absolutely make me nervous. But for what it’s worth, he pretty solidly outperforms Beasley in the same kind of per minute analysis I was using above. He’s still no Ryan Anderson, but given that we needed a point and not a 4, there’s less to quibble with there.

  • Jason A.

    This team could end up scoring a lot of points. I don’t think our defense will be all that great so it should be interesting to see how we do. I have to say I’m looking forward to next year.

  • joey

    guys andy isn’t going to cave on beasley. no matter how many points he scores. he’s the reason his team loses and when he scores 25-30 he’s not the reason his team won. beasley will be the first player in nba history who scores 20ppg and still isn’t worth his average nba salary in Andy’s mind. even though bench warmers like childress make more. 6mi is a huge value for a 20ppg scorer. the only way to get one for less is in the draft. it’s not a gamble at all to sign a 23yr old proven scorer for the price of mediocre role players. everyone should be excited we finally have a guy who can put up 20-10 since amare left.

  • Andy

    @both of you
    Because inefficient points scored don’t mean much, in the end. If Beasley scores 20 points a game shooting less than .475 efg at the four spot, we’re going to lose a ton of games. And maybe that’s the objective – if so, I’m actually fine with that. (And I really mean that, I think we need to blow it up and take a shot in the draft anyway, so if this is all a stealth run to do that, I approve wholeheartedly.) But, the sense I am getting from you guys is that you think Beasley can lead a playoff team in scoring. I just don’t think there’s much hope for that. If all we wanted was someone, anyone, to jack up 15+ attempts a game at bad efficiency, we could have signed any number of Shannon Brown-esque players and avoided committing a third year to the deal. But, hey, maybe if he scores a ton of points inefficiently, we can sell high on him to some team that gets stars in their eyes for PPG totals a year in a half in to speed up the rebuilding process. That, to me, is the most likely best case scenario.

  • Jason A.

    @Andy I wasn’t the one who said he was going to score 20 ppg, you were. I said he’s going to score 17 ppg. I think he’ll score less because he’ll stop taking the fall-away jumpers and start taking higher quality shots. On a team with Dragic, Mayo, Dudley, and Gortat there are plenty of scoring options. He’ll be able to let the game come to him and he’ll thrive. And he’ll be a huge value at $6 mil.

  • Andy

    @Jason
    If he does that, you’re absolutely right. But if he does that, he’s a different player than we’ve seen so far. What I’m saying is this – his PPG isn’t what’s going to determine whether he’s good for the team or not. It’s going to be his efg, passing, and defense that tell us whether he’s a success. But I don’t think expecting him to come in and be a 20/10 guy or a Stoudemire replacement is wise… or even a good idea for the team. (Again, unless we’re trying to lose. And that’s cool. I’m ok with that.)

  • Scott

    FWIW, I’m not sold on Beasley either. He’s going to have to win me over.

    I did advocate for Beasley a couple years ago. I think it was right after STAT left, and Beasley was going for $1.5m from Miami with no takers. I still think that would have been a decent move, esp. for the time. He’d have been a better, more logical experiment than Warrick, because he had the ability to spread the floor.

    Taking him now, at a MUCH higher cost … I have to wonder what changed as to why they wouldn’t take him before, but they’ll take him now.

    Is it just that Blanks is GM now, and he’s calling the shots? It could be as simple as that.

  • Greg

    When he was coming from the Heat he hadn’t had a season where she showed the ability to score around 20 a game…Thats what happened