Eric Gordon Proving He Still Has Value In Trade Market

Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

James Harden and Chris Paul were the stars on the championship contending Houston Rockets teams not too long ago, but Eric Gordon was the third guy that helped this team have the best record in the NBA during the 2017-18 season en route to an appearance in the Western Conference Finals. 

The Rockets did fall victim to the Golden State Warriors that season, like so many other great teams in the league and ultimately, this loss started the rebuild in Houston. They gave their title hopes one last try with Russell Westbrook and James Harden during the 2019-20 season, but it was all for not. 

Houston ended up trading Russell Westbrook for John Wall ahead of last season and just under a month into last season, the team ended an era by trading James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. The rebuild began for this team, which is currently still going on, and Eric Gordon finds himself as the last guy from those championship contending teams still on the roster. 

Now 32-years-old and turning 33 on Christmas Day this year, Gordon is in his 14th NBA season and on the back-half of his career, but he is still playing at a high-level and proving that he is not done just yet. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Lakers-Rockets Trade Is Headlined By Eric Gordon

He only played in 27 games last season due to a groin injury and the Rockets trying out some of their young talents, but the veteran wing still managed to average 17.8 points, 2.6 assists and shoot 43.3% from the floor. 

So far through 22 games this season, 11 in which he has been in the starting rotation for, Eric Gordon has averaged 15.1 points, 2.9 assist and is shooting not just 48.4% from the floor, but 44.8% from three-point range. Most recently, Gordon scored a team-high 32 points in Atlanta against the Hawks in a surprising 132-126 victory for the Rockets, just their second road win of the season. 

“This was a great way for this team to show growth,” Gordon said following Monday night’s win. “We were down the whole game, but different guys stepped up. When multiple guys are doing that, you always give yourself a chance to win.”

Whether or not he has been in the starting lineup or come off-the-bench over the course of his career, Eric Gordon has always been kind of like a “security blanket” for his team in the sense that you know what you are going to get with him and he has really embraced becoming a veteran leader for this young Houston team. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Lakers-Rockets Trade Is Headlined By Eric Gordon

The Rockets are one of the youngest teams in the league right now and they have definitely had their fair share of struggles to begin the season. Houston began the season 1-16 and at that point, Gordon seemed to be really frustrated with the way things were going, but he did not back down from the challenge. 

“This is hard. We got to understand it’s team basketball. It’s little things. We haven’t been consistent all year playing good basketball,” the veteran stated after the Rockets 16th loss of the season back on November 22. “We have to do the little things 1st before we can start winning. Everybody needs to be on the same page for us to move forward.”

While most veterans would have given up and requested a trade from the team, Gordon has stuck with this young group and has continued to not only be their leader off-the-court, but on it as well. Monday night marked the 5th straight game that Eric Gordon has scored in double-figures and he has now done so in 16 of the last 18 games he has played in. 

There were some rumors and talks of Gordon potentially being open to a trade earlier in the season and while this may still be the case, teams have been unwilling to pursue Eric Gordon because of his contract. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Lakers-Rockets Trade Is Headlined By Eric Gordon

The veteran is making $18.2M this season, is set to make $19.6M next season and then $20.9M during the 2023-24 season, but the final year of his contract is non-guaranteed. Not many teams in the league can acquire a $19M contract right now and of those that can, none of them are going to want to invest this kind of money into a near 33-year-old player. 

However, while most players Gordon’s age show signs of decline in their game, the Rockets’ wing has continued to prove that he is not only in great shape, but more than capable of making a positive difference on both ends of the floor. 

When recently talking about his team’s defense, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas not only mentioned Jae’Sean Tate as a defensive leader for this team, but praised Eric Gordon’s two-way play as well. 

“To have Jae’Sean (Tate) who, for the most part, can guard his guy, and Eric Gordon, who’s the best in the league right now at guarding his guy. And Garrison (Mathews) being able to guard his guy, it really limits the amount of help that we have to give, and it keeps us body on body when it comes to rebounds, and it limits our closeouts to the great shooters. The more we can do that, the better.”

When the Rockets have needed a basket late in games this year, they have turned to Eric Gordon for production late in the shot-clock and defensively, he always seems to be right in the thick of things. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Lakers-Rockets Trade Is Headlined By Eric Gordon

His contract is definitely unfavorable to trade for, but Eric Gordon could definitely make a positive difference for not only a playoff contending team right now, but a team looking to get into the playoffs this season. 

Never averaging less than 13.4 points per game over the course of a season, Eric Gordon is the epitome of a “3-and-D” player on the wing in today’s NBA and appears to still have plenty of days ahead of him lacing up his shoes. Whether he remains in Houston this season or gets traded to a contender, Gordon is proving to be a real asset that can contribute meaningful minutes in any role needed.

About Brett Siegel 1870 Articles
Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as an NBA Insider and Journalist in 2020 after previously working with Louisville Basketball and FanSided covering the NBA. He was a member of our staff until April 2022.