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NBA Teams That Should Trade for New Orleans Pelicans' Eric Gordon

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NBA Teams That Should Trade for New Orleans Pelicans' Eric Gordon
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

One of the New Orleans Pelicans' top priorities this offseason needs to be finding a new home for shooting guard Eric Gordon

After two seasons, it has become evident that things aren't going to work out with the centerpiece of 2011's Chris Paul trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. The team opted to match Phoenix's four-year, $58 million offer to keep the oft-injured Gordon as its franchise guard. 

In return, the former Indiana standout has repaid the team by missing 97 out of 148 games the past two years. 

In Gordon's defense, he's also led the then-Hornets in scoring in those two seasons, averaging 20.6 points per game in 2011-12 and 17 points a night this season. 

His lack of durability is a concern, but it is something New Orleans should have been aware of when it rolled the dice on acquiring Gordon in the first place. Since being drafted by L.A. in 2008, he's never made it a full season and has played more than 60 games twice.

Injuries aren't the only issue the team should have with its brittle guard. Gordon got off on the wrong foot with the locals when he spent the summer professing his desire to play in Phoenix. 

"I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me," Gordon said back in July. "Phoenix is just where my heart is now."

Of course, Gordon said all the right things about wanting to play in New Orleans not long after the team matched the Suns' offer, but his previous comments will always stick in fans' craw. 

Making matters worse, Gordon butted heads with head coach Monty Williams late in an April showdown with the Sacramento Kings

Inevitably, the injuries, attitude and lack of interest in playing for the team add up. After exploring a deal for Gordon in February, the team seems open to moving its disgruntled guard this summer

The question now becomes who should consider making a move for the Pelicans star? 

The candidates need to pass a three-part criterion. First, they need to have a spot at shooting guard to accommodate Gordon—or be willing to deal their current shooting guard in the deal.

Second, they need to have something that the Pelicans would find enticing in return for the 24-year-old shooter, like draft picks or another young piece the team could build around. 

Finally, and most importantly, they have to have the cap space to foolishly, er, daringly take on the almost $45 million Gordon is owed over the next three seasons. 

There are plenty of teams who could use a solid, young shooting guard. However, only a few teams managed to make the cut. 

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