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Eric Gordon Trade Rumors: Rockets Looking to Package Guard, Pick to Move Up in Draft

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 25, 2021

Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are reportedly dangling guard Eric Gordon as a trade chip in an effort to move up in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Rockets want to package Gordon with either the No. 23 or 24 overall pick in order to move up.

Houston also owns the No. 2 overall pick, where it is likely to select guard Jalen Green or center Evan Mobley, provided the Detroit Pistons select guard Cade Cunningham first overall as expected.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Sunday that one specific deal the Rockets have discussed is sending Gordon and No. 23 overall to the Indiana Pacers for the 13th overall pick.

That move could potentially appeal to Gordon since he is an Indianapolis native and attended Indiana University.

The 32-year-old Gordon has spent the past five seasons with the Rockets, and he has three years remaining on the four-year, $75.6 million contract extension he signed with Houston in 2019, although 2023-24 is non-guaranteed, per Spotrac.

Gordon is scheduled to make $18.2 million during the upcoming season and $19.5 million in 2022-23.

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After being a starter during stints with the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans, Gordon has primarily come off the bench for Houston.

Of his 275 appearances for the Rockets over the past five seasons, only 126 of them have been starts.

In 2016-17, Gordon started just 15 of the 75 games he played in, and he was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 16.2 points, 3.3 three-pointers made, 2.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest.

This past season, Gordon was limited to 27 games because of injury, but he was productive when he played, averaging 17.8 points, 2.6 three-pointers made, 2.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds, while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from deep.

For his career, Gordon averages 16.6 points and 2.3 three-pointers made per game and has shot 42.5 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Gordon's three-point shooting ability is his greatest asset, and it is likely the main thing that would attract a team to him on the trade market.

Gordon could be a great fit on a contending team as a sixth man, although most top teams would likely have trouble accommodating his salary unless the Rockets are willing to take on some expiring contracts.

The Pacers aren't necessarily a contending team, but they have a talented group with Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert and Myles Turner all set to return, although trade speculation have been swirling around Turner.

If the Pacers can add a sharpshooting veteran like Gordon to the mix, it could go a long way toward solidifying them as a playoff team in 2021-22.

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