#3: Eric Gordon
No player in the league is in more need of a bounceback than Eric Gordon. The 2019-20 season was the worst season of his career by several important measures.
He posted a career-low shooting percentage of 36.9-percent from the field and 31.7-percent from 3-point range. He also had struggled to a career-low assists per game of 1.5, although that was in a career-low 28.2 minutes per game.
Gordon needs to prove that he is at least an average NBA player because last season was a tour de force of suck. The 12-year veteran will turn 32-years-old on Christmas day and if he doesn’t experience some sort of uptick in production he could see himself out of the Rockets rotation.
The Rockets need Gordon to be much closer to the player that he once was because he’s starting the first year of a four-year $72 million contract. Another poor season will render him unplayable and worst of all, untradable.
No matter what the Rockets’ plans are for the future they need the old Eric Gordon to come back. However, there is some optimism that last season’s funk was injury-induced.
Gordon battled through hamstring and knee problems early last season that led him to have arthroscopic knee surgery in November. Over the first nine games of the season, before he went under the knife, he shot 30.9-percent from the field and 28.4-percent on 3-pointers.
After a six-week hiatus, Gordon’s shooting showed signs of improvement with 38.8-percent shooting from the field and 32.8-percent from 3-point range. Unfortunately, those marks are still incredibly poor numbers for any NBA quality player.
Eric Gordon needs to prove that he can be worthy of an NBA roster spot because last season he played like a G-leaguer. If the injury and the time off are the culprits for his sudden decline then hopefully he comes back as strong as ever, because if not, he could seriously hinder the Rockets over the next few seasons.
Next: Number 2