Young Pups Volume 5: Eric Gordon and the Litter of Pups

Published: March 1, 2012

Today we reflect a little bit on Eric Gordon and also check-in with how our other Young Pups are doing…

So far this season we’ve looked at all of the Young Pups from Al-Farouq Aminu to Xavier Henry. Now let’s reflect on our best young pup, also our most injured too.

It’s been a long time since “The Trade,” and a long time to judge whether Gordon is part of the Hornets long term future. Unfortunately he’s suffered through injury so we haven’t been able to see him work with other players.

Since the game winner against the Suns it’s been a Shakespearean comedy trying to figure out how serious his knee injury has been. No one professes to be a doctor here on Hornets247, but it’s been tough to hold back our frustration.

On and into the Future

There’s been a lot of talk about how the Hornets stand no chance of resigning Eric Gordon. Discussions between Dell Demps and Gordon’s agents sort of broke down as they couldn’t quite figure out his market value.

That’s a huge sticking point moving forward. The Clippers were also unsure whether Gordon was a max-value player and that task was shifted to the Hornets. It’s rumoured the Pacers are very interested in Gordon. If the Pacers offer him a maximum contract the Hornets can match it.

I’ll repeat it again.

The Hornets can match any contract offered to Eric Gordon and have first rights to resign him.

I guess even the most respected journalists don’t understand restricted free-agency. Oh well…

The Week in the Kennel

It’s been a while since we’ve reflected on the Hornets and how our puppies are doing.

  • Al Farouq Aminu

Let’s start with Al-Farouq Aminu. At the start of the season I was extremely hesitant to label Aminu anything more than a project. A few months on and I’m still at the same place. Aminu has struggled mightily to establish his offensive game. Like we said a while back, he has a decent looking stroke.

The problem has been a lack of confidence and offensive go to moves. I find myself telling Al to just “Attack.” He has the size and leaping ability, just needs to be aggressive.

Whether through lack of coordination or confidence, I still don’t think we should give up on Aminu.

  • Greivis Vasquez

Over the past month Vasquez has gone from being a contributor on the bench, to being the starter. A lot of people still believe that Vasquez is superior to Jack, but I don’t see it that way.

For those running to the barn to get their pitchforks I say hold on just one second.

I love Vasquez. I think he can be a guy who can control a second-unit, utilize players skills in the open court and knock down a shot when he needs to. But Jarrett Jack is having his best season in his career and he’s been tremendous when trying to get a much needed basket.

Vasquez still has weaknesses when his poor speed is exploited, when he’s pressured into turnovers, or when facing a much quicker guard. His defense is still very underrated (he’s averaging 1.1 steals a game and has a 105 DRtg).

Still, I feel like we need to pump the breaks and stop treating him like the next Chris Paul.

  • Gustavo Ayon

It’s been another great couple of weeks of awesome basketball for Ayon. Even though he had a down night in Chicago he still came through in the clutch.

His activity impresses me and my opinion and his prospects haven’t changed much.

Keep on, keeping on Gustavo.

  • Xavier Henry

One question I would like to ask Henry is, “Have you ever used your right hand for anything?” I’m only joking around of course, but it’s amazing how good Henry is with his left hand and how little he uses his right.

Henry’s ability to drive through contact and finish is right up there with the best, so long as he’s using his left hand. I feel that over the past few games Henry is finding what he does best and what he’s not so good at.

He’s trying to knock down his open jumpers and driving aggressively to the cup. Even if some eventuate in offensive fouls I’m okay with it. He’s looking for his points and he knows the best way to get them; at the free through line.

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