As it was reported by the Athletic, Eric Gordon will possibly start for the Houston Rockets again, which isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Gordon is the longest tenured Rocket on the roster from 2016. He’ll serve as Houston’s oldest veteran so he can be a guide the younger players. The Rockets received three more rookies this year in Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason, and TyTy Washington.
Gordon starting in the small forward position will allow the Rockets to space the floor with elite shooting, including running in transition. Although Gordon is turning 34 years old in December, that doesn’t mean he can’t keep up. Gordon still can run off curl actions for an open jumper or towards the rim.
He’ll also give an idea to Eason on how to play the small forward position in a professional manner. Eason has great potential to start in the NBA, but watching Gordon will help. Gordon will show Eason how to relax and how to finish better and be stronger around the rim. I also think Gordon will be a better fit in the starting lineup than Jae’Sean Tate because of his versatility with the basketball.
Gordon will have to take a back seat to Jalen Green, so Green can grow more as an offensive player in the NBA. EG did a phenomenal job with Green last season, as Gordon helped him get through his offensive struggles. Gordon became a needed shoulder for Green, and hopefully he does the same thing for the other rookies too.
He will need to limit his shot selection so the younger players get their respectful looks. This will also preserve him for another playoff team if traded. Gordon averaged 13.4 points per game with shooting splits of 47.5/41.2/77.8 percent in 57 games last season.
Your nuts, to ever think that!!!!!— Eric Gordon (@TheofficialEG10) July 20, 2022
He had a great year for the Rockets, as he shot the ball well and made clutch shots throughout games. Gordon finished the year with an 18.2 percent usage rating while shooting a 61.4 percent in true shooting.
As of right now, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers are the most interested teams in Gordon. Both teams could use the veteran shooter, as he can space floor and make tough drives toward the rim. He shot 65.2 percent near the rim last season. Gordon had a 14-year proven career to show he’ll be helpful to other teams.
The only way Gordon is traded is when an opposing team offers a future first-round pick. Until Kyrie Irving is off the table, the Lakers will not make a trade for Gordon. While the 76ers could offer Matisse Thybulle and a first-round pick, the Rockets would probably pass because they have Eason, who will potentially be better than Thybulle. Hopefully, Gordon and the Rockets get what they want.
If Gordon does get traded, it would free up more minutes for Eason, Washington, and Josh Christopher, as they need the added playing time. Also, the Rockets would have more cap room for other free agents next offseason. They currently lead the NBA in projected cap room in the 2023 offseason with $71.1 million after buying out John Wall, which cost around $40 million. The Rockets will be an attractive situation for other free agents to come to Houston again.
Anyone want some "way too early" 2023 NBA cap space projections? (Obviously, these are all VERY subject to change!):— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 21, 2022
1. HOU: $71.1M
2. DET: $62.9M
3. IND: $47.7M
4. SAS: $45.1M
5. UTA: $41.4M
6. ORL: $31.5M
7. OKC: $29.2M
8. CLE: $28.9M
9. MEM: $20M
10. CHA: $20M
11. LAL: $19.1M
Coach Stephan Silas and GM Rafael Stone love having Gordon on the roster and know how valuable he is to the younger players. He is first class on and off the court for the Rockets and shows how to set a great example in the NBA. He has always represented the organization well at the highest level and is respected amongst the coaching staff and front office.