3 trades that get Eric Gordon to a contender

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Sunsˆ
Houston Rockets v Phoenix Sunsˆ / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Caris LeVert, Houston Rockets, Eric Gordon
Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets - Play-In Tournament / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Eric Gordon Trade to a Contender #3: Cleveland Cavaliers

This trade would see the Rockets send Eric Gordon and three second-round picks, two of which aren’t their own, for Caris LeVert and a 2025 first-round pick. The Cavaliers gave up a first-round pick and two second-round picks lot to land LeVert at the deadline last year, but he failed to make much of an impact. 

In 19 games in Cleveland, he averaged 13.6 points per game on 43.5% shooting and 31.3% 3-point shooting. For a player whose main attribute is scoring, those are unimpressive marks. More worrisome, LeVert’s on-off metrics were concerning. The Cavaliers' turnaround last season was driven by their defense, but in 567 minutes with LeVert on the court, they posted a 120.84 offensive rating

The Cavaliers moving off of LeVert so quickly would be an acknowledgment that the trade was a mistake in the first place. However, Eric Gordon is the exact type of low-cost veteran the franchise should be targeting to bolster their playoff odds. Collin Sexton remains a free agent, but if he were to return, Gordon would be an excellent bench option and if Sexton does depart their guard depth will be awfully thin. 

Finally, moving LeVert removes any pressure in extending him. Gordon is in the final year of his deal with guaranteed money, which is perfect for the Cavaliers. If he’s great they can choose to keep him, but if they want to go in another direction it won’t be difficult. 

The Rockets are essentially trading three second-round picks for a first-round pick. There’s a chance that LeVert plays well and can be moved again or even re-signed (let’s hope not), but he has the ability to create offense out of thin air and is still under 30. 

This is a good low-risk move for the Rockets and the Cavaliers. The Rockets have so many young players that second-round picks have little value to them, and the Cavaliers get a veteran to help a playoff push and three second-round picks to help them swing moves in the future.