There is a compelling argument that Eric Gordon has been the Houston Rockets' best player this season. He leads the team in offensive box plus/minus (OBPM) at 1.5 and his effective field goal percentage (eFG%) of 62.1% is the best of any non-center in the entire NBA.
Gordon has put together an impressive offensive campaign and his combination of 3-point shooting, finishing around the rim, and secondary playmaking makes him a perfect fit for any title contender.
The Rockets have reportedly been seeking a first-round pick for Gordon, and the only reason they aren’t asking for more is because of the size of his contract and his age. Gordon is owed $18.2 million this season, $19.5 million next season, and a not fully guaranteed $20.9 million in 2023-24 when he’ll be 35.
While Gordon is essentially on a two-year deal, the third year becomes fully guaranteed if Gordon wins a championship. Needless to say, most teams would be happy to pay Gordon $20.9 million if it means they raise a banner.
Any contender that looks to add Gordon will need to have draft picks and the salary to match. While the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, and Milwaukee Bucks would all benefit from Gordon’s presence, they don’t have the combination of salary, assets, and need to make a legitimate offer.
However, there are five teams in the top five of their conference that check all three boxes of need, salary, and assets. In part one, we'll look at contender number five. Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 will be released throughout the day.