NBA Trade Rumors: Rockets' Eric Gordon Draws Interest from Championship Contenders

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 20, 2022

DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 23: Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets on the court in the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on March 23, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. 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 Tim Heitman/Getty Images)
Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Contenders around the NBA have been "monitoring the situation" regarding Houston Rockets veteran guard Eric Gordon, according to the Athletic's Kelly Iko.

"The Rockets would require a first-round pick or a younger player who could help them now to move off Gordon," Iko reported. "The conversations surrounding Gordon are a bit more frequent now than they were around last year’s trade deadline, but that’s expected with the draft this week."

A deal isn't necessarily imminent, however. Iko noted that the Rockets have "no strong desire or pressure to move Gordon."

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype also reported Saturday that "multiple rival executives who spoke with HoopsHype said the Rockets were holding onto Gordon if the organization couldn’t get a projected first-round draft pick near the late teens or early 20s in return."

The 33-year-old appeared in 57 games (46 starts) for the Rockets last season, averaging 13.4 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three.

Gordon can still clearly contribute at a solid level, and he would make a lot of sense coming off the bench for a contender and providing a jolt of instant offense.

He makes less sense in Houston, however, as the Rockets have a number of young players they are developing, including Jalen Green, Josh Christopher, Jae'Sean Tate, Kevin Porter Jr. and Daishen Nix, among others. The Rockets could also use one of their three first-round picks on additional players at Gordon's position.

One sticking point for interested teams might be Gordon's $19.6 million salary for the 2022-23 season, with a non-guaranteed figure of $20.9 million in the 2023-24 campaign. That is on the higher side for role players, and it might take him out of the running for more cap-stretched contenders.

That means the Rockets likely will have to take some significant salary back in a deal, alongside any young players or draft assets they acquire. It also means it wouldn't be shocking if Gordon was still with the team next season.