Eric Gordon is officially out for the remainder of the season. The New Orleans Pelicans announced that Gordon underwent surgery today and will not return this season.
In five seasons Gordon has appeared in 221 of 394 possible games, just 56%. Initially acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers sending Chris Paul to Lob City, Gordon was the centerpiece. A 22 year old guard who averaged 22.3 points and 4.4 assists the year prior, Gordon was supposed to be the next great shooting guard. This published just six days after Gordon was traded to New Orleans.
Last year, we saw Gordon take a step in the right direction. He became a very good ball handler and decision-maker when coming off screens, and he became a spot-up shooting threat. However, if he wants to continue to develop, he must learn to play effectively off the ball. Additionally, Gordon really needs to take better care of the basketball in transition. The Clippers are a young and athletic team that will probably try to amp up the pace, and with Gordon acting as a primary ball handler, he can’t turn the ball over so often. If Gordon can clean up those two areas, there is a good chance that he can turn into a superstar.
Ever since it has been a waive of injuries. Gordon never played more than 64 games in a New Orleans uniform. Knees (2011-14), a torn labrum (2014-15), and now a twice-broken finger (2016) have put a rising star on a completely different trajectory.
Now Gordon approaches unrestricted free agency for the first time. Last time, as a restricted free agent, Gordon left his heart in Phoenix. How different would Gordon's career be under the care of the NBA's most revered medical staff? What about the Pelicans with all that cap space? We will never know.
Gordon has likely played his last game in a New Orleans uniform. Some might celebrate his departure. I still wonder what might have been for the next big thing if injuries hadn't sapped his opportunities.
This is probably goodbye for Eric Gordon. I don't know if he will be missed. His career arc was forever changed here in New Orleans, hardly for the better.
Good luck, Eric Gordon. It seems you will need all you can find.