Year Two has gone much better than Year One in New Orleans for Eric Gordon. The buzz today, though, is that Gordon may not be a Pelican for the duration of his four-year deal.
Sean Deveney of the Sporting News is reporting that the Pelicans are actively trying to trade the 25-year-old shooting guard.
"A little more than two years after acquiring him, and 18 months after matching a four-year, $58 million offer sheet from Phoenix, the Pelicans remain active in their pursuit of trading guard Eric Gordon, league sources told Sporting News this week," Deveney writes. "New Orleans has made contact with several teams about Gordon, even devising three-team scenarios in order to find him a new home."
The challenge in dealing Gordon is finding adequate value in return. He is coming off a season in which a troublesome right knee limited him to only 40 games, he's undersized for a true shooting guard at only 6-foot-3, and he's highly paid. We have to believe, as Deveney points out, that the Pelicans will seek a center in any deal involving Gordon.
Here are two potential trade partners that would make sense:
Detroit Pistons: The Pistons do already have rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brandon Jennings in the backcourt, but they've struggled this season with Josh Smith at the 3, and could look to deal either Smith or Greg Monroe, who is set to become a restricted free agent at season's end, for a natural scorer and perimeter threat such as Gordon.
However, any deal with Detroit may be more likely to involve Smith than Monroe at this point. Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press had this to say Thursday about the Pistons' stance on trading Monroe: "I can say with certainty there is no talk of trading Greg Monroe currently," he wrote, answering a fan's question. "Could that change? Sure, but right now the Pistons are going to be patient. If this bad stretch continues ... who knows?"
Both players have fallen out of favor with the Bucks this season -- Mayo isn't even starting -- and both are on long-term deals that Milwaukee may be eager to get rid of. Adding Gordon would address a position of need for the Bucks, and it'd thin the frontcourt so John Henson could start alongside Ersan Ilyasova, with Brandon Knight, Gordon and Giannis Antetokounmpo filling the other three spots.
From the Pelicans' perspective, Sanders would become their long-term answer at center, providing his customary solid defense and rebounding, while the 6-foot-5 Mayo would be a bigger alternative to Gordon and could pair better with Jrue Holiday in the starting backcourt.