The Houston Rockets are asking for a first-round pick in return for Eric Gordon. If you missed part 1, 2, 3, and/or 4 click the link(s) below. In part 5, we look at contender #1 that could make a move for Eric Gordon.
Contender #1 that could make a move for Eric Gordon: Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are on the cusp of being bonafide title contenders. They own the league’s seventh best defensive rating and its ninth best offensive rating. However, their top ten offense isn’t built on excellent shooting, but rather offensive rebounding.
The Grizzlies 51.6% effective field goal percentage is 24th in the NBA, but their offensive rebounding percentage of 28.5% ranks second. When you’re able to grab that many offensive boards, a miss can act as a highlight reel pass.
Is brutalizing teams on the offensive glass a strategy that will work in the playoffs? The reality is, the Grizzlies probably need to be able to hit more shots if they’re going to make a deep run, and Eric Gordon has been the best in the league at exactly that.
Another appeal for Grizzlies is that Gordon can take on the role he had next to James Harden. He could lead the second unit to start the game and run next to Ja Morant as a floor spacer when necessary.
The Grizzlies are also flush with picks. They own all of their first-round picks and have three more firsts coming their way from other organizations. If there is a bidding war, they have the ammunition to best just about any offer.
Another advantage the Grizzlies have is they have a stockpile of moveable contracts. Steve Adams is on a $17 million deal and they have seven players under contract between $12 million and $6 million. While Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr are part of that group, that still leaves them with five contracts that are easily stacked to land Gordon.
Adams is unlikely to be moved for Gordon. He is the league’s best offensive rebounder and as noted before, that’s a big part of their offensive success. However, Kyle Anderson and Tyus Jones can be packaged together to essentially match Gordon’s salary. If the Grizzlies want to keep one of the two, they have other options as well.
The Grizzlies, with a shooter the quality of Gordon, could be a real contender. He improves their biggest flaw and he can be got without giving up any crucial rotation pieces. They may opt to keep the band together, but if they fall short in the playoffs, they may regret that decision.