After news broke of the Philadelphia 76ers gauging the market for multiple key players, it’s clear Daryl Morey is open for business heading into the NBA Draft and free agency. The longtime executive remains steadfast in his goal of building a championship contender around perennial MVP candidate Joel Embiid.
There are multiple teams who could be good trade partners for the Sixers, but Morey should keep tabs on an all too familiar face. Following their trade with the Dallas Mavericks centered around Christian Wood, it appears the Houston Rockets aren’t done making moves. NBA insider Marc Stein recently reported they are shopping veteran guard Eric Gordon and are seeking a first-round pick in return.
Injuries have derailed the last two years for Gordon, but the former Sixth Man of the Year put together a strong campaign in 2022 for the Rockets. He appeared in his most games since 2018 (57), and posted averages of 13.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 2.7 APG while shooting 41.2% from beyond the arc.
Getting a Deal Done For Eric Gordon
Once it became official the Sixers were going to have their first-round pick in the upcoming draft, rumors emerged of Morey looking to package it along with Danny Green in a trade for someone who can contribute right now. Following the veteran forward’s ACL tear in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, it is unclear when he will be able to make his return to the court.
Currently, Gordon is in the middle of a four-year, $75.5 million deal he signed prior to the 2020-21 season. If the Sixers were looking to acquire him, Furkan Korkmaz would have to be added to the package of Green and the 23rd pick to make things work money-wise.
With the Rockets currently in a rebuild, a return of this sort might entice them. Since Green is rehabbing from injury, they can take on his salary and not have to worry about him taking minutes from the younger players. On top of that, his contract will be an expiring this upcoming season. Taking on Korkmaz also allows them to take a flier on a young shooter who is on a team-friendly deal.
Should The Sixers Roll The Dice on Eric Gordon
From a fit perspective, Gordon makes sense for the Sixers. Not only is he a successful sixth man who can provide scoring off the bench, but he can be utilized with the starters. His ability to efficiently space the floor makes him an ideal supporting piece around Embiid and James Harden.
Gordon’s 41.2% from three last season is already far above league average and gets better when you dive in more. When shooting off the catch, his efficiency jumped to 42.8%, making him a more than reliable kick-out option for the All-Star center.
The main concerns that arise with a move like this are Gordon’s contract and injury history. While he played in 57 games this past season, he appeared in 63 total games across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns.
Gordon is signed through the next two seasons and is due $19.5 and $20.9 million, respectively. That is a steep price to pay for someone that will likely be coming off the bench. Especially for a team with a lot of money tied up in their core. Morey has never been shy to swing a trade, but this might be too big a gamble for a franchise looking to fulfill its championship aspirations.