The Portland Trail Blazers aren't going to remain quiet this offseason, having already extended a contract offer to restricted free agent Roy Hibbert. There are also reports that the Blazers will now meet with restricted free agent Eric Gordon as well. I'm excited about the news regarding Gordon, especially because he could bring a lot of excitement to Rose Garden.
The Blazers aren't alone in meeting with Gordon this offseason, as the Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Phoenix Suns and his own New Orleans Hornets all want to sign him. There are even rumors that the Charlotte Bobcats and Dallas Mavericks could try to wine and dine him this offseason. The expectation is that one of these teams will end up offering him a max deal, making it a tougher decision for the Hornets to bring him back or not.
Gordon came to the Hornets from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade this last offseason, but he ended up missing a lot of time due to injury. In the nine games he played with the team, he averaged 20.6 points on 45-percent shooting from the field. The season prior to that, with the Clippers, Gordon averaged 22.3 points and almost two 3-pointers per game.
I really like the style of play that Gordon brings to the court, and he is about as exciting as it gets when he is having a good game. At just 23 years of age, Gordon has a lot of basketball still in his future and a signing like this would really benefit the Blazers for a long time. If the team was able to come to terms with Gordon and the Hornets didn't match the offer sheet, he could step right in as the starting shooting guard for the team.
While I think it would help a lot to steal Hibbert away from the Pacers, I think that Gordon and newly drafted point guard Damian Lillard could really bring a lot of excitement to Blazers fans. There is a ton of potential between the two guards, but that may become the same reason why several other teams extend a contract offer to Gordon as well. The Hornets really need to match any contract offer that Gordon receives, but if they make the mistake of letting him walk, I hope it is the Blazers that come away with one of the bright young stars in the league.
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*Ryan is a Northwest bred sports fan that has been a Portland Trail Blazers fan for years. He has high hopes that the Blazers can make it to the Western Conference Playoffs again next year.