As the Houston Rockets focus on a full rebuild around recent 2021 NBA Draft No.2 pick Jalen Green and third-year goaltender Kevin Porter Jr., many wonder where that leaves the veteran sniper. Eric Gordon in all of this. The team have already reached an agreement with five-time All-Star goaltender John Wall that they will find a trade for him, and he will stay on the sidelines until that happens.
But Gordon apparently wouldn’t have asked the team for a trade. However, he is ready to be traded to “a more favorable situation,” according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
“They always know it, and it’s definitely not easy for my position,” Gordon said of Houston understanding how he felt. “But my ultimate goal is to go out there and play, help, show that I’m healthy and gravitate around these guys to get better.”
After the massive exodus that has taken place within the Rockets organization over the past two years which has resulted in the departure of head coach Mike D’Antoni, general manager Daryl Morey and trades of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, Gordon’s place on the list doesn’t make as much sense as when the team was chasing after the championships.
However, that doesn’t mean he’s eager to leave, either. The Rockets would “love” if Gordon stayed, according to Iko, as he would provide a veteran presence on a roster that is much younger now than he was two years ago. But being a vocal leader is not something Gordon is used to having played alongside Chris Paul, Westbrook and Harden since joining the Rockets in 2016.
“When you win, you don’t need to be heard,” says Gordon. “It’s just about coming and doing your job. It’s the easiest part of being on good teams. When you’re in young and rebuilding teams you have to give a lot more – a lot more. . Like I said, I’m open to winning, and when you’re open to winning, of course, you’re going to do whatever it takes to help people. It’s always good to help people. people and all to be included in the victory. “
It looks like a fluid situation between Gordon and the Rockets at the start of the season. He doesn’t have the same deal Wall has with the franchise where he won’t be playing, which means he’ll definitely still be in the rotation playing with youngsters, something he embraces. But if a trade materialized to send him to a championship-contending team, the sixth Man of the Year 2017 would accept him as he enters his twilight years in the league.
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Finding a team that takes on the remaining $ 37.7 million of Gordon’s contract between this season and next will be a difficult task, mainly due to the injuries he has racked up over the years. He’s only played in 43% of Houston’s games over the past two seasons combined, but when he’s in good health he can certainly make a positive impact. In the 2020 playoffs in the Orlando bubble, Gordon averaged 17.3 points, 3.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds in the Rockets’ 12 games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers.
After last season was cut short with a knee and groin injury, Gordon vowed to strengthen his body ahead of the season ahead to avoid any setbacks.
“Well I’ve done a lot of things,” Gordon said. “I don’t think I went a week without training this summer. So I had to really strengthen my body to be able to be strong. Along the way, I started working with a track and field trainer, and that Really helped me along the way in the summer where I can’t put that much strength. I’m just overcompensating too much. “
If Gordon is in great shape and can show he’s still the guy who can average 17 points a night, then it won’t be as difficult to find a trade for the veteran goalie. But until then, he remains with the rebuilding Rockets, focused on improving his new and young teammates.