By Matt Moore
Eric Gordon is not really having the kind of season he probably thought he would. The Hornets announced Friday that Gordon experienced knee swelling after Wednesday's loss to the Sixers, his first game back from injury, and as a result, on the advice of doctors he's out 2-3 weeks.
That's just bad all over.
The Hornets don't want to tank, that's clear from what Monty Williams and Dell Demps wanted in the vetoed Chris Paul trade with the Lakers and Rockets. Even though losing out is the best thing for their franchise, it's harder for guys to keep jobs through rebuilding projects. It's not fair, but it's what it is. And losing Gordon is going to make it even harder for a Hornets offense that has struggled without him. They've actually been really stout defensively, but they don't have any scorers with Gordon out. It could get ugly for the Hornets.
Jokes will be made about how this shows how much better the Lakers' offer was. But in reality, the Hornets need to tank out. They need to get a top draft pick, and combined with what will be at worst a 13-15 pick from Minnesota, they'll have a great core of players to rebuild around.
For Gordon, you have to hope he can get healthy completely. He needs to finish the season strong, because he's a restricted free agent in the summer. This is the first real payday for players coming off the rookie deal, and whether it's in New Orleans or eliciting a massive offer in restricted free agency, he needs to be healthy to pull it in. If he continues to have injury issues, Gordon could sign the qualifying offer instead, on the hopes of improving his value in a healthy year going into unrestricted free agency in 2013.