What is Eric Gordon’s trade value
I’ve done this exercise many times, and I think Eric Gordon’s trade value is directly tied to what the incoming players to Houston are. If it’s a straight salary dump, Gordon should fetch a first-round pick. However, if a real NBA player on a fair contract is coming back, then first-round draft compensation is probably too much.
Gordon is essentially worth a first-round pick, but his salary demands that real talent heads out. He isn’t so good that you would just say screw it, but he also isn’t so bad that the Rockets wouldn’t care if they didn’t get anything of value in return.
Eric Gordon’s trade value is in that grey area that is hard to pin down, but I think he could make enough of an impact that a contender with all of their first-round picks should be willing to roll the dice. He is an excellent floor spacer and has been hyper-efficient on a bad team. Playing next to a real superstar again, Gordon could see his shooting efficiency go to another level. There is also the added benefit that any acquiring team knows he’s capable of thriving in less-than-ideal circumstances.
There is also a hidden benefit in Gordon’s contract functionally having a team option for next season. Due to the NBA’s rules requiring teams above the salary cap to essentially match outgoing and incoming salary, Gordon gives any acquiring team two bites at an expiring contract. While the team acquiring him this season may not want to pay him $20 million next season, they could guarantee his salary for next season to then be used in a trade to land an even bigger fish.
The time is now for an Eric Gordon trade. His contract has finally hit the sweet spot, he’s healthy, he’s still balling, and the difference between the best teams in the league is so small that any marginal upgrade should be pursued with vigor.