According to this CBS source, Ben Gordon and the Charlotte Bobcats are negotiating and a potential buyout. The 10th-year man out of Connecticut is in the last year of his five-year, $55 million contract that he signed back in 2009. At once that seemed a reasonable price for the former Sixth Man of the Year, but ever since he left the Chicago Bulls, Gordon has never been able to play at that high level again. After three disappointing seasons in Detroit, the Pistons shipped him to Charlotte. Despite being the second-highest paid player on the team, Gordon has found himself on the bench.
After Charlotte acquired guards Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour at the trade deadline, it became evident that Gordon was an afterthought in Steve Clifford’s rotation. Gordon is due to make $13.2 million this year, but if he accepts a buyout, he will lose some of that money. Why would Gordon allow himself to be bought out of his own overpriced contract? Because he is playing for future contracts. If he sacrifices a few million here, he will turn into an unrestricted free agent and will have a chance to sign with a team for the rest of 2014. He could use this as an audition to prove he still has the skills to be a productive player in the NBA and hopefully get a contract out of it during the summer.
Let’s be honest, a washed up 30-year-old averaging five points a game isn’t going to command a lot of attention during the offseason. If Gordon is confident he can still play, this is the right move for him. Additionally, this is the right move for the Charlotte Bobcats. For a low spending franchise, every dollar counts. The money saved in the buyout can go to signing their young players long term.
It would be hard to gauge the market for Gordon if he does hit free agency. I don’t see any contender taking a risk on him. A more interesting take would be who the Bobcats will sign to replace his roster spot? Dare I say Danny Granger? Granger would fit perfect on the Bobcats and could help the maturation process of the younger players. Just speculating on Granger’s interest level, but I am inclined to say he would rather play for a title contender. As it stands, the Bobcats could use another offensive threat down low. A big man to compliment Al Jefferson can do them wonders, but unfortunately their aren’t any on the market.