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How the Rockets should use veteran Eric Gordon in 2022

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers
Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers / Soobum Im/GettyImages
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Eric Gordon looked like an obvious trade piece for the Rockets for most of the offseason. No trade happened, and now it is time to look towards the season.

Eric Gordon hasn't gone anywhere yet. Is a trade still on the table? It sure seems like it, but the Rockets have made it clear that they won't just accept any deal.

For what its worth, while the "trade Gordon crowd" has a lot of valid points and support due to the team needing to get younger to fully embrace this rebuild, the Rockets do have some holes in their veteran leadership with the departure of Christian Wood, and Gordon does appear to want to stay put.

If there is nothing that can be done in the short term, the best both parties can do is make the most of their current situation.

So, what should Gordon's role be?

Maximizing limited minutes should be key.

Gordon doesn't need to be a starter on this team to make an impact. In fact, he doesn't even need to be one of the first guards off the bench. The Rockets still have a young team that they need to develop, and that doesn't come if a veteran like Gordon is on the court for long stretches of the game.

The same shooting and defensive skillsets that make Gordon a trade asset make him valuable on the court for the Rockets. Guys like Jabari Smith will get there at some point, but Gordon is still probably the best on the roster for that role in the short term.

The Rockets should find that sweet spot by letting Gordon play enough to help the team and his trade value while not taking away reps or developmental opportunities from the young guys or tanking his value.

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