New Orleans Pelicans Reportedly Shopping Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans in Trade

Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIJanuary 20, 2014

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 18: Eric Gordon #10 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game on January 18, 2014 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The New Orleans Pelicans (15-24) are reportedly looking to find trade suitors for Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans prior to the NBA trade deadline.

According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, team executives are saying that those two backcourt pieces could be on the move, while Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday are in the Pelicans' long-term plans.

The injury-prone Gordon has missed 126 regular-season games dating back to the 2010-11 season (his final year as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers). Despite starting all 36 games he's played for New Orleans this season—missing only three contests along the way—Gordon hasn't put up huge offensive numbers.

While the Indiana product is shooting 44.1 percent from the field and a scorching-hot 40.1 percent from three-point range, he's scoring just 16.3 points per game (the lowest output since his rookie year).

New Orleans matched the four-year, $58 million offer sheet Gordon received from the Phoenix Suns in 2012. The shooting guard said at the time, "Phoenix is just where my heart is now," per ESPN's Chris Broussard.

Evans, meanwhile, was acquired from the Sacramento Kings via sign-and-trade last summer. New Orleans sent Greivis Vasquez to Sacramento and Robin Lopez to the Portland Trail Blazers while signing Evans to a four-year, $44 million deal.

That contract hasn't worked for the Pelicans. Evans is averaging only 12.6 points in 2013-14, which has continued his downward spiral following a stellar Rookie of the Year campaign in 2009-10 when he notched 20.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game for the Kings.

The new-look Pelicans have floundered following an 11-10 start to the season. They've lost eight in a row and nine of their past 10 games.

Ryan Anderson's injury has essentially sealed this team's fate as a lottery team, as doctors have asked him to rest for two months prior to determining if he'll need surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck, per Brett Martel of the Associated Press.

It will be interesting to see if the Pelicans find suitors for either player, since both are owed big money and come with significant risks. Gordon has a long history of injuries, while Evans' production has been on a steady five-year decline.

At this juncture, tanking the season is likely the Pelicans' best option, because they owe the Philadelphia 76ers a top-five protected first-round draft pick in 2014, stemming from the Nerlens Noel trade.

With the 10th-worst record in the NBA, New Orleans would need to lose significant ground to increase its odds of keeping that pick. Trading Gordon and/or Evans would certainly help in that regard.