BY: RYAN ISEMEYER
The picture said it all. The face of Gordon along with his current teammate Chris Kaman showed the absolute low of a NBA players career. Both players the week before were part of the L.A Clippers, a team that was going through the positive end of a transformation with Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, Randy Foye and many other great assets. Gordon and even Kaman himself thought that this was the team that was set for the upcoming 66 game shortened season. They both were wrong as they were traded to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul in what has been called the most “fraudulent” crime against basketball following the foiled trade a week earlier that included Chris Paul, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, Kevin Martin and Luis Scola. The picture I am talking about? The one with Kaman and Gordon holding their new jerseys in New Orleans. Not a single smile or grimace from either player. A sort of “ghost faced killer” emotion was portrayed throughout the day’s press conferences and interviews.
What do the Rockets have that can put a smile back on Gordon’s face? Well, if the Rockets can keep Kyle Lowry and or Dragic, Gordon will be happy to know that he has the option of having two All-Star caliber point guards, a great backup shooting guard in Courtney Lee and depending on if we keep Marcus Camby or somehow end up with Pau Gasol (again) or Dwight Howard our presence in the paint will be superior to what he was receiving in the Big Easy.
Gordon has proven on many different stages that he is a natural born scorer. Many forget that Gordon is only 23 years old and he was in the 2008 NBA Draft. Gordon made the All-Rookie Second Team as well as placing 5th in the Rookie of the Year voting. With a gold medal to add on to from the 2012 FIBA World Championship, Gordon has solid numbers to show why he was selected to be in the 2012 USA Basketball Program.
Although Gordon spent 80 percent of last season sidelined due to injury he was still averaging 20 points per game along with 3 assists, 3 rebounds and a 45% field goal percentage in the 9 games that he did play. Gordon’s career average point per game is 18.2, however I believe that’s because of his young age. With the possibility of the Rockets being able to provide him with better looks around the perimeter and the possibility of isolation plays into the paint with the body’s that we have, Gordon has the ability to be a 25 point per game scorer if given the right tools. This surely looks like a great improvement from our 29 year old unhappy shooting guard Martin who averaged 17 points a game last season in what may not be the right system for him to play in. In fact, Kevin Martin’s numbers have been better with the Sacramento Kings in almost every statistical category other than free throw percentage. The only question that looms over the Rockets head office? What can they get for Martin and how will he be dealt? And if so, will they pursue Eric Gordon first? And once they acquire his talents package Martin? Time will tell my friends. For now, all we can do is wait and enjoy what may be the craziest Draft/Free Agency summer the Rockets have had since 07.