The Houston Rockets seem to be open to trading some of their key players this summer, meaning that Eric Gordon may be on the move.
Now that Eric Gordon has been able to stay healthy for the last few years, he has developed into a very solid role player who can play both ends of the floor fairly well. Taking into the account that he is going into the final year of his deal and is scheduled to make a manageable $14.1 million next season, he has some value as a one-year rental.
One team that should seriously consider pursuing Eric Gordon is the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers are entering this offseason with max cap space, but we haven’t heard all that much about Indiana potentially luring a big-name free agent, which is obviously due to its location.
Indy is not a free-agent hot spot, meaning the Pacers may have to get creative with how they use their available money this offseason.
Indiana has already gone out and traded for T.J. Warren, a versatile forward who, when healthy, is a very efficient scorer and a solid defender. Think of him as an offensive upgrade over Thaddeus Young.
Of course, the Pacers could also re-sign Bojan Bogdanovic, who stepped up big time in Victor Oladipo’s absence this past season, but if Bogdanovic is out of Indiana’s price range (which may very well happen), Gordon is a very capable pickup as a replacement.
Gordon is a solid 3-point shooter who can create his own shot, which he hasn’t been able to do all that much in Houston due to the presence of James Harden.
However, he certainly has the ability to do those things, and he has averaged at least 16 points per game in each of his last three seasons, maxing out at 18 points per game in the 2017-18 campaign.
Gordon would be a lethal weapon alongside Oladipo. He would not only provide Oladipo a reliable shooter as an outlet, but he would also take some pressure off Oladipo late in games, when he could represent another scorer for the Pacers and space the floor due to his potency and shotmaking ability.
Also, Gordon is not a bad defensive player. Due to his savvy and his strength, he is capable of guarding multiple positions. No one is going to confuse him for Marcus Smart, but he is decent on that end of the floor.
As far as how the Pacers would go about acquiring Gordon, let’s remember that Indiana has more than enough cap space to simply absorb him, so it would not need to match salaries.
Plus, if the Rockets are merely trying to clear cap space so they can make a run at a big-name free agent this summer, they would obviously prefer not to take any salary back for next year, so the Pacers are an ideal trading partner for Houston in that regard.
Gordon is not going to put Indiana over the top by himself, but he is a really solid piece who would fit very well with Oladipo. If the Pacers end up losing Bogdanovic, Gordon would be a fine replacement.