The addition of David West has proven to be huge, yet the guard play leaves something to be desired.
Enter Eric Gordon.
That means he will become a restricted free agent who can sign a lucrative deal in the offseason, but the Hornets still have the chance to match an offer.
Considering the Pacers will have just $34.8 million committed in salary for next season, they can afford to overpay a bit for a star to join their small market club, especially one that went to Indiana University. Sporting News is reporting that the Pacers already plan on making a run for his services when July rolls around.
The Hornets were weary of giving Gordon a lucrative eight-figure extension at the time he’s dealing with a knee injury that will keep him out of action for the next three to six weeks.
The Pacers shouldn’t be worried about it. Gordon did miss 26 games last year, but only sat out 24 games in his first two seasons. He hasn’t missed enough time to give him the injury-prone label.
In fact, it may lower his value a bit on the open market so the Pacers don’t have to shell out as much dough.
Right now Paul George is the only guard that has long-term value for the Pacers. Darren Collison is better severed as a backup and Dahntay Jones and Lance Stephenson are not players worthy of playing on a championship-caliber team. George Hill? Eh.
Gordon adds star power and may even be able to bring in other big-name free agents that are looking for a new home.
A core of Gordon, West, George, Roy Hibbert and Danny Granger gives the Pacers a starting five that can compete with any team in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers will make the playoffs this season and may even win a first-round series, but until they make a move for a star like Gordon, the NBA Finals will continue to be nothing but a pipe dream.