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The Next Chapter in the Chris Paul Trade Saga: Eric Gordon is Entering the Free Agent Market
When teams are trading away their best player because he doesn't want to be on the roster anymore, the organization wants to receive valuable assets in return for the franchise player. The New Orleans Hornets are no different.
When the Chris Paul trade was made official official Dec. 14, the New Orleans Hornets received Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu. Aminu is a project, Kaman's abilities are declining in his ninth NBA season and Gordon is quickly blossoming into a star.
Of course the up and coming great player, Gordon, was the number one priority because he is only in his fourth year and has never averaged less than 16 points per game. The knock on the Hornets for the last couple of seasons has been the lack of scoring talent on the roster. Paul and power forward David West were the only two players who could put points on the board at a high and consistent level.
West was traded to the Indiana Pacers before the season began and Paul wanted to be traded. When the trade became official, it was only natural to want some scoring talent in return since there was no longer any on the roster.
Too bad Gordon doesn't want the Hornets as he has turned down a contract extension from New Orleans.
Unlike the Minnesota Timberwovles' Kevin Love, who did sign an extension, it seems Gordon doesn't want to play for an awful team such as the Hornets. Not only are the Hornets a bad team now, but they don't have any sunny days ahead of them unless they use a top pick in the 2012 NBA draft wisely - they will be a top lottery ball - and stray away from a bust.
What this says to me is: the Hornets traded away Paul for a one year lease on Gordon and a couple of players that will probably be traded away or be gone by other means in a season or two. Kaman is already falling out of favor with the Hornets.
Addition by subtraction by division brings me to the conclusion of the Hornets trading Paul for Aminu and room on the books.
This would be a good deal if free agents wanted to play in New Orleans. However, it's a small market franchise and again the pieces currently constructing the lineup are not easy to work with in efforts to construct a puzzle. Point guard Jarrett Jack is putting up good numbers but still makes costly mistakes on the court, Trevor Ariza never panned out to be the player he was thought to be in Los Angeles and Carl Landry's fanfare with the coaching staff is declining just as fast as Kaman's situation.
I can't think of any NBA player who would jump at the opportunity to come play in New Orleans. Gordon obviously understands the situation and wants to be remembered for more than being an All-Star quality talent on a horrible franchise.
If and when Gordon leaves, the Hornets are bound to be on the outside looking in of the playoff bracket for some time to come.
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