Houston Rockets Trade Deadline: 3 teams who should trade for Eric Gordon 

N.B. Lindberg
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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As the NBA trade deadline heads into its final 24 hours, Eric Gordon remains a Houston Rocket. The 15-year NBA veteran has been on the trade block for most of the past two years. It’s unusual for a player as good as Gordon to be available for so long without getting moved, but it’s not altogether surprising. 

Eric Gordon is perfect for a contender

Gordon is a solid player with a skillset tailor-made to play off of superstar offensive talents. He’s a more than willing floor spacer and his 3-point field goal percentage is only a small part of his offensive value. His ability to generate contested threes well beyond the 3-point arc creates acres of space for superior offensive talents to exploit. 

Gordon is also a surprisingly effective driver and lives by the NBA role player code of high-efficiency shots. Throw in the ability to run a second-unit offense and non-catastrophic defense, and Gordon would round out just about any contender’s guard rotation. 

Related. The Eric Gordon trade primer . dark

Why Eric Gordon hasn't been traded

There is no question that many finals hopefuls would love to have Eric Gordon the basketball player. The problem is his contract makes him incredibly difficult to trade for. Gordon makes $19.5 million this season and has a non-guaranteed $20.9 million salary for next season. Essentially, Gordon has a team option for $20.9 million and most teams would consider him an expiring contract. 

$19.5 million is both a lot of money and not very much money at all. The NBA salary cap is $123 million and $150 million is the luxury tax threshold. At $19.5 million, Gordon’s contract is roughly 16% of the salary cap, which is far from a burdensome number. 

The issue that the Rockets and Gordon have likely run into is the NBA’s rules about adding salary once over the salary cap. The four teams currently under the NBA’s salary cap are the San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Detroit Pistons, and the Pistons and Grizzlies are dodging it by less than a million. Any team that trades for Gordon would have to send the Rockets close to $19 million back in salary. 

Contenders are in the business of upgrading their roster. So while Gordon may be a fit, it’s difficult to fit his salary in without sending out real talent. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t playoff-bound teams that are rostering unwanted salaries. These are the three teams that should trade for Eric Gordon.