In the summer of 2009, then Chicago Bull Ben Gordon did what any of us would do. The former UConn standout parlayed a career season into one basketball’s biggest contracts, totaling well over $50MM. Since then Gordon has been a microcosm of his Pistons team: struggling to shoot the ball efficiently and playing dismal defense all in an effort worth only 36 wins the past two seasons.
Gordon has been an enigma since relocating to Detroit. Entering last season Gordon was largely considered a consensus top 30 player entering the prime years of his career. Pistons General Manager believed that by adding Gordon, the team would demonstrate the same offensive punch that delivered an NBA championship in 2004, the same year Gordon was delivering a championship to Connecticut at the college ranks.
It appears that the Pistons will again stumble into the basement of the Eastern Conference equipped with a star-studded cast of players who continue to present chemistry issues in the Motor City. But while the Pistons seem to be on the cusp of implosion, there is hope that some of these stars bounce back.
Ben Gordon’s career low 11.6 points per game is staggering, but a deeper look at the 27-year-old’s secondary stats show some underlying value. His 85 percent shooting from the free throw stripe is above his career mark and his 40 percent from three point land is also encouraging. Also, in only limited action off Detroit’s bench Gordon has been incredibly effective rebounding the ball to the tune of over three per contest and shooting the ball at a career best 46 percent.
The trade deadline will surely provide a situation where either Richard Hamilton or Rodney Stuckey will pack their bags for greener pastures and thus giving Gordon the starting role he deserves. Gordon’s hefty contract makes him nearly impossible to trade considering very few contenders have the cap space to take on his salary.