The Hornets announced today that Eric Gordon, acquired from the Clippers as the key piece in the trade that brought Chris Paul to LA, needs arthroscopic surgery on the right knee that has already kept him out of all but two games this season. If his post surgery recovery goes has planned, Gordon could be back on the court for the final 20 games of the season.
You have to feel sorry for Gordon here. He's in the final year of his rookie contract, and was unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension with the Hornets. Three other members from his draft class, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love have signed massive extensions with their clubs. Gordon was teammates with those three on the Team USA that won a Gold Medal in the World Championships in Turkey in 2010, but he's still waiting for his next NBA contract -- and missing games could very well be costing him money. He'll be an
unrestricted restricted free agent in July and may yet get a big offer sheet from a team like Indiana, but it's also possible that teams will be hesitant to spend big money on a player that just missed most of the season with knee trouble.
You also have to feel sorry for the Hornets. David Stern and the NBA seemingly drove a very tough bargain in trade negotiations with the Clippers. But with Gordon injured and Chris Kaman not fitting into their long term plans, the big prize from that trade at this point is Al-Farouq Aminu. Yikes. Of course, it serves NOH's purposes pretty well to be terrible this season, and collect as many ping pong balls in the lottery as possible, so maybe this will all work out.
The Clippers on the other hand came out of this whole situation smelling like a rose. Paul has been as good as advertised if not better, and the team has come together quickly with his leadership on the floor. Giving up Gordon seemed difficult at first, but it was always going to be able to resign EJ, while paying Blake Griffin and Paul and DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler. Now Gordon is missing most of the season for another team, not for LA.