Houston Rockets Eric Gordon Trade #3: Dallas Mavericks
This trade swaps disappointing players in the hopes that a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered. When the Mavericks traded Seth Curry for Josh Richardson they thought they were upgrading their defense and landing a capable 3-point shooter. Unfortunately, neither of those turned out to be true.
Richardson's defense and 3-point shooting have been in steady decline since his breakout season in 2017-18 with the Miami Heat. Almost 28-years-old, it looks like Richardson's best days are behind him, leaving the Mavericks on the hook for his 2021-22 $11.6 million player option.
Richardson at this point has no real place on a playoff team and his salary makes it hard to justify rostering him. Sending Richardson to Houston in exchange for Eric Gordon offers both parties something they desperately need. The Mavericks get a secondary shot creator, something they've sorely lacked in the Luka Doncic era, and the Rockets get off of Gordon's contract a bit earlier than anticipated.
Gordon's comfortability playing in an offense dominated by one player makes him a seamless fit for the Mavericks and he still offers a real upgrade over Richardson. When you factor in that Gordon's final season isn't fully guaranteed it makes it a lot easier for the Mavericks to stomach a new bad contract. While Gordon's play-to-pay ratio makes his contract bad, the large annual salaries remain useful if the Mavericks engineer a blockbuster trade with lots of moving salaries.
This trade isn't exciting for the Rockets, but if Richardson has any sort of a bounce-back in Houston he could be moved before the deadline. The point of the trade is to get off of Gordon's money, not to land a shiny new asset.