After spending nearly seven seasons with the Houston Rockets, veteran guard Eric Gordon left town in February as part of a deadline trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. But the 34-year-old made it clear upon exiting that he wants only the best for his longtime home.
This offseason, that could involve a reunion with former franchise icon James Harden, who played alongside Gordon for several years with the Rockets. In each of the four full seasons Harden and Gordon played together, Houston won at least one series in the Western Conference playoffs, which no other West team did in that period.
In a newly released episode of The IkoSystem podcast with The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, here’s what Gordon had to say regarding the rumored reunion of Harden and the Rockets this offseason:
If I (look at) a young team that’s trying to figure out a way to get back into winning, why wouldn’t you want to have a guy like (James Harden) on the team?
You need veterans at the end of the day. That’s the only way players grow, being around veterans. Coaches set the table, but real growth is around your teammates.
Harden would be joining Houston as a veteran mentor for a team that has had one of the NBA’s two worst records in three straight seasons. It’s worth noting that Gordon was unable to save them from such a fate, though Harden as a perennial All-Star candidate is clearly better.
Eric Gordon on his stance of Harden returning to Houston:
“If I (look at) a young team that’s trying to figure out a way to get back into winning, why wouldn’t you want to have a guy like (James Harden) on the team.
— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) May 24, 2023
It’s possible that Gordon could also become a free agent this offseason, since the Clippers hold a $20.9-million team option for his services in the 2023-24 NBA season. They have yet to indicate their plans.
Should Gordon enter free agency and Harden return to the Rockets, a reunion involving both certainly doesn’t appear implausible.
The complete podcast episode can be listened to below.