NBA Free Agency 2012: Hornets Should Ship Eric Gordon to Suns Via Sign-and-Trade

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJuly 9, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 26:  Eric Gordon #10 of the New Orleans Hornets during the season openning NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 26, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Hornets defeated the Suns 85-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Free Eric Gordon.

The 23-year old shooting guard doesn’t want to play on the New Orleans Hornets. Paul Coro of The Republic reported that Gordon released a statement through his agent stating that his heart is in Phoenix. New Orleans must deal him to the Phoenix Suns via a sign-and-trade—not just because that’s what Gordon wants, but because that’s what the Hornets should want.

David Aldridge of TNT reported that there’s still no way the Hornets allow Gordon to walk in free agency even after their trade on Sunday. He tweeted:


Late night reiteration, per source: the Hornets' acquisition of Ryan Anderson will not stop them from matching Eric Gordon's offer sheet.

— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 9, 2012


NOLA fans can breathe.

Now, New Orleans has a promising future with Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers, but even with Gordon in the fold, they aren’t ready to win right away—not even close. They should continue to build toward the future. By trading Gordon to the Suns, the Hornets could set themselves up for a dynasty.

Matt Moore of CBS Sports gave New Orleans some wise advice after Gordon signed a max contract with Phoenix. He tweeted:



— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 4, 2012


I'm dead serious. Get their picks. Without Nash, that team is perennial lotto. GET MARSHALL AND THE PICKS!

— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 4, 2012


This is all speculation, but if the Hornets play their cards right, again, they’ll set themselves up for an extremely bright future.

Neither Gordon nor Rivers are capable starting point guards. It makes perfect sense to trade Gordon for a floor general who’s qualified to be just that in Kendall Marshall.

At the bare minimum, Phoenix would be forced to include their 2013 first-round pick in a swap for Gordon. And considering how pitiful the Suns and Hornets are projected to be next season, New Orleans should go into next April’s draft with two top-10, if not top-five picks. Plenty of options would exist to fill their needs at small forward and center to create their own Fab 5 of sorts.

The duo consisting of Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad is a dream catch, but any combination that includes Cody Zeller, Alex Poythress, Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, Adonis Thomas or Tony Mitchell would give the Hornets the brightest young core in the NBA only behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.

That Fab 5 is only possible, though, if they trade Gordon.


David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.