January 25th, 2012
Eric Gordon has now received a four-year contract extension offer from the commissioner David Stern and the New Orleans Hornets, yet no news of a deal being made has surfaced.
The Hornets are beginning to cut it close, as Wednesday is the last night that a team can sign a four-year veteran to an extension. Gordon’s willingness to sign an extension with New Orleans has been apparent all week but was supposedly stalled by awaiting permission from Commissioner Stern.
The fact that a deal has yet to be completed suggests that perhaps the deal put on the table by Stern and the Hornets is not nearly the size or even duration that Gordon hoped for. There were rumors that the league may not offer a large contract, worrying that it could affect the decision of the potential buyers of the franchise.
However, it seems more likely that Stern is worried about the health of the young guard and perhaps is low-balling the contract in fear that Gordon’s knee will further hinder his success.
Gordon is set to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and with the news that he may be out three more weeks, missing over a quarter of the season, the league may believe they would have better luck letting him hit the market. Instead of offering Gordon a max contract now, they can offer a less lucrative deal that he may turn down and see if they can get a bargain by matching the offer sheet of another team at year end.
This may prove to be extremely dangerous for the Hornets if they let Gordon wake up on Thursday without the extension he desires. Even if Gordon is forced to stay with the Hornets in restricted free agency, any bad feelings could cause him to simply accept the qualifying offer given by New Orleans at the end of the year. He would then play out his last year before hitting the market as an unrestricted free agent.
The ball is in New Orleans’ court as time ticks off the clock, and all Hornets fans can do is sit, wait and see if Gordon can be secured for years to come.
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