Ten games have passed since Kemba Walker last hit the court for the New York Knicks. If Tom Thibodeau’s decision to bench him was supposed to trigger some kind of dramatic turnaround, however, it didn’t have the desired effect.
New York is 3-7 in those games. And the team’s defense — an area where Walker is said to struggle — has gotten much worse. The Knicks have given up 115.2 points per 100 possessions over that span.
Nevertheless, it looks as though Walker’s days in the Big Apple are numbered. So, even as team president Leon Rose is likely considering upgrades up and down the roster, the Knicks have been featured in trade chatter about multiple backcourt players, including stars like Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard.
A Thursday report added a new name to the list of guards New York is said to be interested in. And this one has an extensive history with Knicks point-man Derrick Rose.
Berman: Knicks Have Talked About Eric Gordon
According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon is a player who could be available that the Knicks have held internal discussions about.
The 33-year-old is in the midst of a career year from an efficiency standpoint. Through 24 games, he is scoring a healthy 1.35 points per shot attempt and logging a career-best effective field goal percentage of 58.4. Where basic numbers are concerned, he’s averaging 14.7 points and 3.1 assists per contest.
While he has been a solid hand throughout his run with the Rockets, Gordon’s timeline no longer matches that of the team. However, his contract has been prohibitive as relates to getting dealt to a contender. And it could make a move to the Knicks tough, too.
As it stands, Gordon will pull down more than $18 million this season and $19.6 million in 2022-23. His $20.9 million number for ’23-24 is non-guaranteed.
One Knicks player who comes close to matching Gordon’s salary this season is Evan Fournier, who has not performed as well as fans had hoped for.
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The Eric & Derrick Show
As noted by Berman, Gordon and Rose go back a long, long ways. The two were backcourt mates for the Mean Streets Express — a Chicago-based AAU team — in 2006. Together, they rivaled Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter (New Jersey Patterson, ’94) as the best tandem in AAU history, earning the nickname “The Eric and Derrick Show.”
Per the Post, Rose attempted to recruit Gordon to the Knicks during his first stint with the club back in 2016. In the end, though, the latter opted to sign a deal with the Rockets.
Whether Rose is angling for a reunion now is unknown. However, Gordon nonetheless has something to offer the Knicks as one of the league’s better three-point shooters. As of this writing, Gordon is hitting 43.4% of his triples this season. He has knocked down 1,678 threes since entering the league.