Eric Gordon Trade Watch: Negotiating a Deal with Milwaukee

Published: February 18, 2013

Today ESPN posted an insider article saying Milwaukee would be a good destination for Eric Gordon. I don’t know if Mr. Gordon would agree, and seeing that he has trade veto power this year that kind of matters, but let’s assume for this piece that he is willing to leave us for Milwaukee. I emailed old friend Jeremy Schmidt from, who has joined us on the podcast in the past, to see if we could work out a deal. The following was the emails we exchanged:

Michael McNamara

Hey Jeremy,


Long time no speak. I remember last time you came on the podcast we talked about what it would take to pry your talented, but dissatisfied guard away from Milwaukee. Oh how times have changed. Now it looks like the Hornets are at least listening to offers for Eric Gordon and Milwaukee might be interested.I think it would be a good move for your organization to show your fans and Brandon Jennings that you are interested in winning big long term. Gordon is, without question, a better scorer and defender than Mona Ellis when healthy and would provide a better backcourt mate next to Jennings.


Of course there is injury risk, but the slight risk is worth the big time reward if Gordon can stay injury free.With that said, there are some pieces I love on your roster, so here is our offer. The Bucks receive Eric Gordon and Xavier Henry, who is a young player on an expiring contract, for Monta Ellis, Larry Sanders, Tobias Harris, and your 2013 1st round pick. How does that sound to you?

Writer’s Note: I am obviously asking for far too much in this proposal and I have also conveniently not mentioned my true target- Brandon Jennings. I’m hoping that he comes back at me with a couple of these pieces and I can act like he is lowballing me, then slowly change the target to Jennings instead of Ellis. I have also drastically undersold what I really think of Gordon’s injury risk, selling the idea that the Bucks can be contenders if Gordon can stay injury free. Yeah, and I could be a superhero if I only knew how to fly.

Jeremy Schmidt

The Bucks giving up Larry Sanders and a first round pick AND Tobias Harris seems like an awful lot to stomach for a player with a pretty spotty history as a franchise guy. I think Bucks fans, and probably the front office at this point, would be plenty willing to include Jennings in talks if it meant getting someone with Gordon’s potential in return.


Make an offer built around Jennings and I’d be curious, were I the kind of person who could make a decision. Obviously I’m intrigued with moving Ellis, but I think the assets the Bucks have to surrender paired with Ellis are far greater than the ones they have to surrender paired with Jennings. Let me know if I’m right.

Writer’s Note: Whoa! That was quick. He is already talking about Brandon Jennings instead. Did I use a Jedi mind trick or do Bucks fans and writers want Jennings gone as badly as I want Gordon outta here? Only one way to find out- offer a Jennings deal that there is no way he will take. Here goes.

Michael McNamara

Okay, I will give you two offers then and let you decide which course is better for your franchise, if any.


Offer #1 gives you Eric Gordon for Brandon Jennings, Sam Dalembert, and Tobias Harris. You get a guard locked in for at least two more years after this one so you can do away with the Jennings drama and you can still be competitive this year while seeing if Gordon and Ellis can work together. If not, then Ellis can go in the offseason and maybe you can find another guard to compliment him better.


Offer #2 is probably the lowest I can go on a Gordon for Ellis swap. We do Gordon for Ellis and you pick 2 out the following three: John Henson, Tobias Harris, your 2013 1st round pick Top-10 protected.

You like either of those? If not, do you have a counter offer?
Writer’s Note: I am not very comfortable with how little I would get back in the Gordon for Ellis swap. Don’t get me wrong, I would love that pick, but I don’t know how much use I would have for Henson and Harris is a solid backup on a great team long term. I hope he takes the Jennings one.

Jeremy Schmidt

I would accept the first deal with a straight face until the documents were signed, the players physicals complete and Gordon had safely arrived at the Cousins Center. Then I would laugh maniacally and spray champagne at everyone that happened to be in my zip code at the time.

The second one I’m not crazy about.
Writer’s Note: Wait, what happened here? Did he play me all along? Is he that desperate to get rid of Jennings that he would rather unload him than Monta Freaking Ellis? I don’t get it. But you know what, I don’t have to. I got the guy I wanted and unloaded Gordon’s $58 million deal. I’ll take some champagne myself.


So at the end of the day I swapped one unhappy guard for another, but the guard I got makes far less money as of right now and has played in every one of his teams’ games three out of the four years he has been in the league. I also got a very young SF to try and develop in Tobias Harris and a center in Samuel Dalembert that I can either look to move right away or who can hold me over if I decide to shop Robin Lopez.

In fact, I know have two great trade pieces in Lopez and Vasquez that I can deal before the deadline if the right deal presents itself. Or I can hold onto Vasquez as insurance in case Jennings signs an offer sheet that is too rich for my blood this summer. I also have opened up some extra cap room this summer, as Jennings will only have a $8 million dollar cap hold, giving me the ability to do some things before I re-sign him or match an offer sheet.

Overall, I am happy with how this deal worked out. What do you think?

(Also: Don’t forget to stop by tonight at 7:00 CST for our Live Video Chat where we discuss the Trade Deadline. Bring your comments, questions, and trade ideas to the table! Click here for more details)


  1. JJacob

    February 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    The push for Eric Gordon to be traded on this site is reaching ridiculous proportions hahaha. I’m on board though!

  2. WhoDatPelican96

    February 18, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Hope bucks’ gm was listening in.

  3. TK

    February 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Should throw in Jason Smith and get that first round pick.

  4. Nola86

    February 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    If we get Jennings im sold.As long as the Hornets/Pelicans brass get Jennings involved to the future plans of the franchise.

  5. Sam Patching

    February 18, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Would love to see this happen – ship out Vasquez, EJ & Lopez to bring back Rondo, Courtney Lee & Fab or Sully (salary purposes).

    Let’s hit the tank for the final stretch of the season, give Rivers and AD some serious minutes (allow AD to make a late-season ROY push) and let them work out the kinks, hopefully secure a top 3 pick and head into next season with Rondo, McLemore/Shabazz, Aminu, Anderson, Davis lineup, bringing Courtney Lee, J Smith & Rivers off the bench.

    If we can secure an elite PG like Rondo to facilitate for AD, Ryno and Shabazz or McLemore, we could definitely get away with Aminu at the 3, seems like the safer route than going after an elite swing to play with Vasquez and there’s a lot for Boston to gain by doing a deal like this.

    • Nola86

      February 18, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Thats not happening a trade like that would set us back a few years plus you’ve the uncertainty of Rondo playing in November of 2013 maybe January just like the Derrick Rose injury Rondo is a risk.I like the Gordon trade to the Bucks for Jennings and others as a springboard to get Josh Smith in july.

      2013-14 Pelicans

      PG Jennings-Burke

    • lsutigers33

      February 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      If celtics made that trade I should be president.

      The draft isnt bad if you can get in the top 5. I think Mclemore and Smart are the real deal. Smart needs better range jumper but, plays hard D, great court vision, and super athletic compared to a GV. Shabazz is solid, but nothing more than Harrison Barnes.
      Mclemore is the prototypical SG with a great stroke.

      IM still trying to understand why we don’t play anderson at the 3 more and give AD more minutes.

  6. SJ

    February 19, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I do not understand our desperation to cut loose EG for a crap player like Jennings. We will NEVER get a top FA here unless we are already a contender like OKC. We need to either trade for draft picks or for stars stuck in a long term deal. Josh Smith coming here? Delusional.

    • WhoDatPelican96

      February 19, 2013 at 2:47 am

      You just called Brandon Jennings a crap player? I don’t even know where to begin.

      • SJ

        February 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm

        In that case let me begin for you. Jennings is complete garbage. He shoots less than 40% and has for his entire NBA career. His PER is only 16.60, lower than the 16.91 Greivis Vasquez is posting this season. He averages 3.5 assits less than Vazques despite having a nearly identical usage rate. They are shooting the 3 at the same clip. So please tell me what makes you think Brandon Jennings is any good?

  7. 504ever

    February 19, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I think someone needs to post a history of the timing of Dell Demp’s trade deals. There is a reason why he doesn’t do them at the trade deadline, and it may correlate with why he does them in the off season and early season. Could it be there is a benefit to sticking with your guys in the long run? Having guys in camp before the season starts? Maybe something else?

    But before another writer goes off half cocked about a Hornet’s trade deadline trade, maybe they should look at the larger pattern of Dell’s trades/acquisitions. And maybe evaluate each trade/acquisition to see where the best values occurred. Then they can look for a correlation between the timing and the amount of increased value the Hornets received. Maybe there is one!

    • Michael McNamara

      February 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Marcus Thornton for Carl Landry. This exact time two years ago

      • Drew

        February 19, 2013 at 8:36 am

        Still, I see 504ever’s point. Most of Dell’s deals have come at some time other than the trade deadline. It is something to think about

      • Jason Calmes

        February 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        Most not near the deadline.

      • 504ever

        February 19, 2013 at 9:38 am

        What was the upshot of the Thornton-Landry trade? Long term it was nothing. We dumped junk (to us) to rent Landry for 1.5 years. There was no long term value we received. In fact you can argue it would have been better for us to develop another player with Landry’s minutes.

        But my point was a systemic analysis of all of Demp’s trades might show how little value was created in trades now and how much was created in trades in the off season and preseason.

    • Michael McNamara

      February 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

      But has Dell ever had a piece similar to Gordon or even Lopez and Vasquez for that matter? Will looking back at pieces that are so dissimilar help us prove anything?

      The good trades he has made have been scraps for players that weren’t wanted around the league at the time:

      – Nobody showed any interest in Lopez. Got him for scraps.
      – Same for J Smitty
      – Same for Vasquez
      – Anderson said nobody else showed interest, got him for scraps

      The only real valuable piece Dell ever had was CP3 and he had to trade him before that season started. Dell has never had a young piece with any kind of value at this point of the season. The only time he did (Thornton) he traded him for a less talented guy who was better for team chemistry/ fit the team profile better.

      • 504ever

        February 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm

        It’s not the value of a piece to others, but Dell’s ability to see value that others don’t see. At anytime Dell can see value that others can’t see. He chooses to make most trades in the offseason and preseason. Maybe the reasons have nothing to do with the assets he has, including D West, but the best time to maximize value he receives.

      • mateor

        February 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

        If anything, I feel that history has been pretty kind to those trades that people were pretty hot about at the time. Neither Collision or Thornton really look like usable players at the moment. I certainly cannot imagine Monty playing either happily.

        I also consider Jennings a dead end, so what do I know.

  8. Drew

    February 19, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Michael, you’re saying you want to get rid of our only capable 2 guard for a 6-1 PG that has only shot over 40% from the field one season in his 4 year career?

    I’m just not seeing what the urgency is to get rid of Gordon or acquire Jennings, if that trade happens it’ll decimate the shooting guard position

    • Andrew Smith

      February 19, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Eric Gordon isn’t capable of anything if he’s sitting on the bench (or in LA) injured for 52 games

      • Drew

        February 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

        Remember when we traded Tyson away because we were scared of his injuries?

      • Nola86

        February 19, 2013 at 9:25 am

        Chandler was traded by a regime of penny pinchers (Shinn) who really play to lose.

    • Michael McNamara

      February 19, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Ah, the Tyson Chandler example.

      Chandler had one injury to his foot. Some doctors thought it was a degenerative condition. Hornets traded him.

      If that were the case with Gordon, I would be less likely to want to move him. A reoccuring injury scares me far less than a guy who hurts something new every other day and can’t play through it. It screams to me that his body is not capable of taking the physical pounding and he will never be able to get through the 100+ games necessary in a season to make a title run.

      The other difference with Chandler was that he wasn’t the best player on the team/the key piece. Chandler could go in and out of the lineup and it wouldnt kill the team because you still had CP3 running the show and West on the front line. Gordon going in and out, in and out, in and out kills the ability to set roles for guys and build chemistry.

      I do this trade because it stabilizes the roster. Davis is now clearly the anchor that I am building around and I have flexibility and cap space to upgrade the 2 and 3 position over time. I have Vasquez as a trade chip that can help me upgrade those positions and will have over $20 mil in cap space this summer, along with a top 7-10 pick.

      You will never get full value for Gordon in the sense that we wont get a guy as good as Gordon when Gordon is healthy. But which Hornets team wins more games- one with Jennings and a guy like Gerald Henderson playing 82 games or one with Vasquez playing 82 and Gordon playing 30? That would be the question I have to ask myself if I am Dell.

      • Nola86

        February 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

        Gordon would set us back for years.Some fools would perfer a guy that going to play 46% of games every season.He’ll never be a full season guy just get rid of this putz so we can move on.

      • houp garou

        February 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

        Actually Tyson had back issues that scared a lot of people early in his career. He did average a good number of games despite what was considered a possibly chronic back situation.

        Whether or not there are differences in their situations, there is a panic button similarity that is hard to dismiss.

    • Nola86

      February 19, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Jennings has better carrer numbers in his 3 of 4 years in the NBA than Gordon and we need a fast PG because Vasugez is more of a SG to me than an PG.Gordon is better off somewhere else he is so much like Dwight Howard filled with mixed signals and a drama queen.

  9. Nola Moondog

    February 19, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Get that first rounder and Jennings and I’d do it in a second!

  10. Pingback: Josh Smith, JJ Redick and all of the Bucks trade rumors : Bucksketball – A Better Milwaukee Bucks Blog

  11. houp garou

    February 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

    for the people who are big fans of jennings, why doesn’t any of ya’ll want us to try and end up with both jennings and ej or jennings + whoever we trade ej for in offseason.

    trading with bucks would necessitate agreeing with jennings on a long term deal anyway so why not try and achieve that in the offseason if the bucks don’t plan to keep him or give a lesser piece in sign and trade ala ayon for rhino

    the obvious worry is that someone else snatches him at trade deadline or makes better sign and trade offer. to me that’s a chance i’m willng to take if the possible endgame is a jennings ej backcourt

  12. Rick

    February 19, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I heard through an inside source about the trade targets of the Hornets. It has been previously reported about interest between the Hornets and the Warriors involving Eric Gordon. What I have heard is that the Hornets are targeting either Stephen Curry (which seems very unrealistic) or Klay Thompson. Previously it has been said the Hornets have not been actively pursuing a trade, but this report seemed to indicate the opposite. They claimed there was about a 50-50 chance that this trade would occur. Personally if we receive Klay Thompson, I would like to receive Harrison Barnes as well because we will need to take back a contract (Jefferson or Biedrins). Ultimately, I just want to get Eric Gordon out of here because of his constant injuries. And if we cannot get both Thompson and Barnes then I will settle for Thompson and possible Green or Ezeli.

    • jerome123

      February 19, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Yes, I heard the same thing as Rick. I feel as if these NBA “insiders” really aren’t as smart as they are. Let’s just hope that any deal can get done to get Eric Gordon out of town. I am tired of his act.

  13. lsutigers33

    February 19, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I like Jennings, but not sure at the cost of EG which is basically straight up. Then do you move Vasquez at the sg?

    Not a great fit. I would rather see the trade to GSW for Barnes and another pick(maybe a 2). Then we can look at drafting a PG in Marcus Smart which makes up for GV’s defense if we played them together, and use cash to find a FA.

  14. mojart

    February 19, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    i don’t buy to the jennings-EG swap….just focus on the warriors….that team is struggling….start calling dell…loved if we get barnes and thompson plus fillers…that’s my dream scenario….and the rebuilding will be much faster….

  15. lsutigers33

    February 20, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Guys, would you rather have Klay or Evan Turner?

  16. Nate

    February 20, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Just for giggles.

    Grab a good, young, facilitating guard that can score along with a few young pieces. Vasquez leads one unit, Wall the other.

  17. Nate

    February 20, 2013 at 9:23 am

    LOL, Trade Machine is hilarious!

    Derrick Rose FTW, lol!

    • Nola86

      February 20, 2013 at 11:04 am

      That would never happen

      • Nate

        February 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm

        That’s why it’s so funny. They’d never give up their franchise player, even with the injury.

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