The New Orleans Hornets plan to match the maximum four-year, $58 million offer sheet free-agent guard Eric Gordon received from the Phoenix Suns, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Hornets had always indicated they planned to match whatever offer Gordon received, and they don't appear willing to change that stance in spite of Gordon's public proclamation that "Phoenix is just where my heart is now."
Gordon can't officially sign the offer sheet until July 11. Because Gordon is a restricted free agent, the Hornets will have three days to match.
Gordon met with Suns officials, including owner Robert Sarver, on Monday and Tuesday before agreeing to the offer sheet, the maximum allowed under NBA rules for a player with his experience.
"After visiting the Suns, the impression the organization made on me was incredible," Gordon said in a prepared statement. "Mr. Sarver, [president] Lon Babby, [general manager] Lance Blanks, the front office staff and Coach [Alvin] Gentry run a first-class organization, and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now."
Gordon, 23, averaged 20.6 points and 3.4 assists with New Orleans last season, but played in just nine games because of a knee injury. The Hornets acquired Gordon before the start of last season in the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Gordon was hoping to get his contract agreed to before he attends Team USA's Olympic training camp later this week in Las Vegas. If the Hornets match the Suns' offer, Gordon will join top overall pick Anthony Davis and rookie guard Austin Rivers in forming a young, talented core.
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