Eric Gordon is known more for the amount of money on his contract nowadays rather than his actual play on the court. This to me is sad, given the amount of talent he has displayed over the course of his short NBA career.
One could point to his lack of luck when it comes to injuries as a reason for this (he has played in only 311 of a possible 492 games in his six-year career), but I think Pelican fans especially feel that he has been particularly underwhelming while has been on the court. At least not up to the standards of a player that was the main cog in the Chris Paul trade.
Last season, Gordon posted career-worst numbers in just about every category. According to basketball reference.com, he averaged 15.4 points per game while shooting only 44 percent from the floor, and he only got to the line 3.5 times per game.
The Pelicans (then Hornets) thought they were acquiring a go-to scorer capable of taking over a game on both the inside and the outside. Instead, at least by the numbers, it seems that they only have a league average player on their hands.
The problem with that is, so does Gordon. Without being ball dominant, he transforms into primarily a 3-point bomber.
A capable 3-point bomber yes — he shot a career-high 39 percent behind the arc last season — but I do not want to see Gordon limited to strictly being a floor spacer. I would imagine that owner Tom Benson agrees with me, given that he is due to dish out more than $30 million to Gordon over the next two seasons.
The main issue with Gordon is the fact that he is undersized for his position. This comes to fruition most on the defensive end, but it can also hold him back offensively when a defender with length is presented to him.
He shot an above league average 59 percent on field goals 0-3 feet from the basket, but only a meager 29 percent on field goals 3-10 feet away from the basket. This illustrates that once he can find his way to the rack, he is capable of finishing with some of the elite players in the league.
However, when he gets caught in-between (3-10 feet away) he struggles because of his lack of size. He should perhaps work on developing a floater this summer to improve those numbers.
Give Tony Parker a call.
So, what does all this mean? In my eyes, Gordon is on the wrong team.
There is too much going on around him. The development of SUPERSTAR Anthony Davis, a lumbering lumberjack by the name of Omer Asik, the sporadic play of Tyreke Evans and another ball-needy guard in Jrue Holiday just to name a few.
Sadly, teams are only allowed to play with one ball last time I checked. Gordon will unlikely be able to fulfill his full potential on this roster (a team like Indiana would be a perfect fit for him this season) and it really is not his fault.
In the 2014-15 season, Eric Gordon will most likely be a disappointment to fans expecting gaudy numbers based on the investment their team has made in him. He will be relegated to being a floor spacer, with the occasional opportunity to create when the shot clock is winding down.
Maybe this is all he was meant to be in the first place.