The Boston Celtics were awarded a $3.23 Disabled Player Exception after Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL before the season started. Unlike trade exceptions, they can use the DPE to sign a free agent on the market for the rest of the season.
Such an asset can be useful when teams start buying out their veterans mid-season. An Eastern Conference executive spoke with Sean Deveney naming one target who could potentially come up as an option should his team waive him: Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets.
The executive explained why he could be an option for the Celtics as well as why the Rockets may potentially waive him.
“Eric Gordon would be another guy,” the exec told Deveney. “What are the Rockets going to do with him? They would trade him, but they might have held him too long, and maybe, in the end, they give him the buyout and let him go somewhere to win.”
Gordon has been with the Rockets since 2016 and has stuck with the team after they traded James Harden, among others. Gordon is currently playing the third year in a four-year, $75 million contract extension he agreed to with the Rockets in 2019.
Gordon won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award in his first season with the Rockets in 2017.
John Hollinger Named Gordon in ‘All-Change of Scenery Team’
In a November 22 The Athletic story, John Hollinger named Gordon among the players who he believes need a change of scenery.
Hollinger said that Gordon needs a new team because he does not with the young Rockets team.
“Get this guy out of Houston. It’s borderline hilarious that the Rockets were using him as a defensive stopper against alpha wings while Jae’Sean Tate was out, but that says everything about his mismatch on this roster — a tough, veteran shooter on a young, wild team indiscriminately flinging the ball all over the gym and occasionally running back on defense.”
While Hollinger believes that Gordon can help a better team, his contract is the one obstacle that could get in the way.
“Gordon turns 34 next month and has better things to do than this. He remains a productive player who could help a contending team, and his contract isn’t guaranteed beyond this season unless his team wins the championship. His $19.6 million cap number isn’t the easiest to work into a trade. But one hopes this is the year he finally lands someplace where his contributions will matter.”
Gordon Potentially Hinted at Dissatisfaction in Houston
After the Rockets lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on November 14, 122-106, Gordon posted an angry emoji on his personal Twitter account following the loss.
Gordon has not made a public trade request and has not tweeted anything since then, but tweeting out this specific emoji would seem to indicate that he is not happy with how things are going with the Rockets, who are currently 3-14. That puts them dead last in the Western Conference.