Hornets Beat: Eric Gordon and a Few Predictions

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Published: December 3, 2012
Ryan Anderson

Our writers take on questions regarding Eric Gordon’s future, Ryan Anderson as an All-Star, Anthony Davis and his chances at ROY, and just how bad the Hornets actually are.

1. Fact or Fiction: Eric Gordon will be traded before the end of the season

Jason Calmes: Fact. Of the two, I’ll take this. Something weird is going on. Rather than impugn Gordon, I’ll try to fill in the gaps in what we know with Dell’s most common activity: trading.

Michael McNamara: Fiction, but not for a lack of effort. I think Dell continues to burn up the phone lines of other GM’s but the offers he gets back will not be to his liking. He grits his teeth and hopes for the best with Gordon, rather than just cutting his losses as soon as he can.

Mason Ginsberg: Fiction; Mac hit the nail on the head. The only way the Hornets will get fair value in their eyes in exchange for Gordon is if they’re just trying to shed his salary and nothing more. If they want value for his on-court talents (assuming he ever returns to the court), it won’t come and the Hornets will be better off sticking it out and hoping he can come back at full strength as soon as his rehab is completed.

Joe Gerrity: Fiction. Something tells me that Dell won’t run from his decision in the first year, Giving us something in addition to Gordon just to get him off the books is akin to admitting mistake. Plus, it’s still possible this thing will work out… at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Chris Trew: Fact. Wait, no, fiction. Is he healthy? Fact. He’s not? Fact. This is confusing. I think I just want Eric Gordon out of the league living in a heart shaped (his heart) mansion somewhere in Phoenix. But if he’s healthy and not being all weird about it, let’s embrace him. I’m exhausted. Fact.

2. You’re Dell Demps. What, if anything, would you be willing to give up to unload Gordon?

JC: Any single asset that is not Davis, Anderson, Rivers, or a first round pick. I’d push back on Miller and Smith for the same reasons team would push forward on them. Closer to the trade deadline, a team may find themselves with a key injury and the need to try to make a push for the playoffs or more. Gordon could be had then.

MM: I would be willing to give up a lottery protected first rounder or Lopez if it came down to it. I don’t think of it as unloading Gordon, I think of it as unloading a contract that a small market team just simply can not have on its books if it wants to build a competitive roster.

MG: Call me a blind optimist, but I’m not ready to answer this question yet. If the trade deadline nears and we’re still waiting for Gordon to return, then we can talk about it. Not yet, though.

CT: Assuming we get someone in return who’ll have Hornets fans running to Foot Locker to get that new jersey, I’d trade one our mid-carders from the same position. Lopez, Aminu, Miller or Rivers for a center, small forward or point guard. Speaking of jerseys, does anyone feel good about that #10 Hornets jersey? I think that was a rebound jersey purchase.

Joe: The fan in me wants to say absolutely nothing, that Gordon is going to come back from this and churn out three 70+ game seasons of stellar ball, that a contender will be willing to take a shot and actually give up assets for a young guy whose injuries as labeled shouldn’t be all that serious. In reality I agree with Jason, and might even be convinced to take something closer to what Mike proposed.

3. Fact or Fiction: Without Gordon the Hornets are the worst team in the Western Conference

JC: Fiction. Sacramento and Phoenix are worse. Maybe Portland. It was as small sample size . . . but the Hornets were 3-5 without Gordon but with Davis. That puts them in line with Phoenix and Portland and well above Sacramento. If we assume adding Gordon makes the team no worse than that, we’re in the mix there and not the clear-cut worst. Without Davis as well, they are the worst, perhaps in the NBA.

MM: Fiction, but without Gordon AND Davis, they are the worst team in the conference and bottom three in the NBA. But back to the original question, I still like this team better than Sacramento without EG.

MG: Fiction. Assuming a healthy Davis, the Hornets’ front court is simply too strong to be considered the worst team in the Western Conference. Things look bad right now, but getting Davis back will provide a big enough boost to move them past Sacramento. They aren’t far from the bottom, though, unfortunate as it may be. Operation Tank 2.0, hooray…

CT: Fiction. Sacramento is stuck in some strange Ocean’s 11 zone where they have all these people who, on paper, seem to be talented and interesting but the product is messy and George Clooney is too big to be a point guard, too short to defend shooting guards.

Joe: Fiction. With the rest of the squad healthy I like to think they’d beat Sacramento, which is odd since at some over the last few years I expected Sacramento to improve, not get worse.

4. Fact or Fiction: Anthony Davis will be the ROY

JC: Fiction. At this point it seems he’ll miss too much time, and there is no indication Lillard will miss significant time. If Davis can limit his time away to 4 weeks and Lillard missed, say, 8 games, maybe Davis is back in.

MM: Fiction. Even if he does play 65-70 games, he is a part of a 4 man big rotation that will limit his minutes and touches. Meanwhile, the Blazers have no bench and nobody else who can handle the ball for them. Lillard will get 40 minutes per game and 18-20 shots per game this year. While he might lead the league in turnovers, all of his other stats will be too shiny and pretty for voters to overlook.

MG: At this point, it’s fiction, but I still think Davis has a shot if he comes back quickly. The heavy favorite through the first quarter of the season has to be Lillard, as he is one of only five rookie guards in history to have a PER over 18 and TS% over 54%. The others? CP3, Kyrie Irving, Steve Francis, and Brandon Roy. His defense still needs a ton of work, but defense is rarely a factor in ROY voting, especially for guards. That being said, Davis could make this a hell of a battle as the season winds down if he can get back on the court soon.

CT: Fiction. I blame Mason because of his deep undying affection for Lillard, as evidenced in that #10 pick tournament we rolled out last Summer. Mason cursed the New Orleans Hornets with his man crush on Damian and we’ll be haunted by Lillard for years to come. (But if at the end of the season, Davis and Lillard played the same amount of games, I’m changing this to Fact).

Joe: Fiction. With the Hornets already on the verge of falling out of the playoff hunt, there’s just no reason for the big man to put too much toll on his body, or play with even minor injuries. While Davis will finish with the highest PER of any rookie, Lillard looks like he’s scoring enough to make up for Anthony’s built in advantage as the number one pick.

5. Fact or Fiction: Ryan Anderson deserves to be an All-Star

JC: Fiction. Howard, Aldridge, Durant, Griffin, Gasol, Love, Duncan could all be in the mix. Who will he dislodge in the eyes of fans or coaches on our poorly performing team? Additionally, he’d have to out-dislodge Hilario as well who is killing it on a worse team. He’s stuck in the middle. Many of his advanced summary stats are down this year from last year, so any notice he got from winning M.I.P. will be discounted to a degree.

MM: Fiction, but only because he is in a stacked Western Conference. Put him in the East and I would give him the nod. The only way he makes it is if Love gets hurt again or if Duncan decides to rest after being named to the team. Aldridge, Howard, Marc Gasol, and Z-Bo will definitely make it and at that point it is Anderson vs. Blake. I would take Anderson, but we know Stern would appoint the highlight reel as a replacement.

MG: Fact. He won’t make it, but given his production vs. the others at his position this season, he deserves to be. In terms of Western Conference big men and their production to date, I’ll take Duncan, Howard, and Marc Gasol, and then certainly Love now that he’s back. If you’re picking a  5th big, who has a better case right now than Anderson? With Aldridge having a down year so far, for me it comes down to Anderson, Faried, and Randolph; the latter will probably make it, but I think Anderson has the best resume of the three to date.

CT: Fiction. But he definitely deserves to be part of All-Star Weekend via the 3 point Shootout. Has a team ever campaigned to get a player involved in that? It sounds trivial now, but it could be a bright spot in this not-so-exciting season. Someone get on making some #33 for 3 posters!

Joe: Fiction. It’s deep out West, none of his stats are overwhelming in their awesomeness, and somehow the Hornets are actually worse on offense this year when he’s on the court than when he’s off it, a stat that surprises me to say the least.

12 comments
Mike P
Mike P

The sample size is very small, but if Anthony Davis keeps his points per game where it is, he will have recorded the 5th best points per game ever for a 19 year old. In front of him? Melo, LeBron, KD, and Kyrie. Behind him? Kobe and Stephon Marbury. I realize that most guys aren't in the NBA at 19, but despite the small sample size, that is an incredible stat from a guy that critics said was raw offensively. Also, he is registering both a higher FG% and TS% than every single one of the aforementioned players, and by a tangible margin. It is so frustrating to not get to watch his development and hear about 22 year old Lillard's amazing season. I'm not taking away anything from Lillard, because generating efficient offense at that volume as a rookie is very, very impressive. But Davis is averaging more points per 36 than he is, and he's over 2.5 years younger

david
david

We are worse with Anderson on the court offensively because for a majority of the games he was coming off the bench, playing without Vasquez on the floor - and honestly, he is the only NBA caliber guard (at this point, I still say Rivers will be a good player) available on our roster right now. Our guard play is so bad it hinders us even getting into our offense.

Mr.C
Mr.C

The hornets are not the worst but very close, some nights you see them and see the potential... And then some night you watch them and be like WTF is this!!!

mateor
mateor

I didn't realize, given the salary-matching NBA trade structure, that we would still have to foot the (asset) bill to get rid of EG, yikes. Not even a mid-rounder on the hypothetical table? I am an OG on nay-saying the Gordon deal. I consider that to have been wildly risky. But I think the worst thing the Hornets could do is to blink and trade him. That is what he wants, legitimate injury or no. Appeal to his rational side...make him play his way out of the city. His alternative is to throw away his career in Hornets purgatory while we let our young kids (from this year and next) mature. I think this is what the Magic were doing with Dwight, except they eventually panicked and fired everyone. They didn't believe he would leave the bird rights money on the table. I believe that to be why he reupped for that extra year. He was stretching out the suffering in the hopes they would fold and trade him (letting him retain those bird rights). And they did. Don't give EG the same satisfaction, the Hornets are in no rush. If he thinks he has a healthy NBA career in front of him at any point, appeal to the business side. Otherwise send him to Sacramento and give Jimmer the #10. He'd sell a bunch of jerseys here as long as they don't actually play him, and maybe even if they did.

mateor
mateor

I heard Zach Lowe speculating that the Hornets would have to ship Ryan Anderson along with EG in order to get anyone to take him (the team they were discussing at the time was the Lakers, can you imagine if that happened?). I must have seriously misjudged this situation. I am no EG fan, I would rather we tried the sign and trade...but we wouldn't have to go that far, would we?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

It all depends on things we do not know. Sadly.

504ever
504ever

Remember all of those Lillard vs. Rivers debates we had. Well those days are over, for good.

aswemajor
aswemajor

Compare Rivers in 2 years compared to the Lillard of this year. We all realize Rivers sucks now. He still may not be as good as Lillard but at least compare when they have the same amount of time to develop.

504ever
504ever

aswenmajor, I think you miss my point. Prior to the draft there were great debates here about whether the Hornets should draft the then 21 year old Lillard or 19 year old Rivers. Those debates are over.

SP
SP

I also remember at the home opener last season seeing a guy who had taped over his CP3 jersey and replaced it with a EG10 jersey. Definitely a rebound.

SP
SP

This was cool, but seems like maybe Calmes had a few too many adult beverages before giving his responses? Haha keep up the good work gang!

Cory
Cory

24/7 GONNA 24/7