There have been plenty of rumors going around that the Hornets are currently planing on dealing Eric Gordon sometime in the near future. Either before Thursday’s trade deadline or at sometime in the off-season. Either way these are just rumors and no one will know for sure until anything actually happens. The Hornets had their chance to trade Gordon this past off-season in a sign-and-trade but chose not to explore that route. Gordon unexpectedly re-injured his knee and has missed the majority of this years season so far, maybe that has changed the Hornets outlook on keeping him. Is Gordon worth the $15 million max contract he just got when he can’t even stay on the court?
With all that being said, even if the Hornets have decided that they want to part ways with Gordon, it may be harder than they think. There are two big reasons why Eric Gordon will most likely stay a Hornet even if he is on the block.
Eric Gordon is hurt! Gordon has played in 19 games so far this season and is not looking to bad, but he has yet to play in back-to-back games and he is not playing at the $15 million level yet. We all know Gordon has it in him to be the superstar of a team, but at this point hes close to missing more games than ones hes played in throughout his career. Not too many teams are going to be willing to take that risk, especially with the price tag the Gordon brings. The Hornets might be able to dump off Eric Gordon for a “weaker” player, but we already know Gordon is star capable when healthy. So I doubt the Hornets will be willing to let Eric Gordon go for a few expiring contracts and draft picks.
The new collective bargaining agreement. It is going to be hard for a team to commit on Eric Gordon with his lengthy max contract. Many teams are starting to realize that contracts are important now, they can’t have a player not producing while pulling in a max contract. The new “repeater luxury tax” penalty is real, you saw the Thunder trade James Harden just so they wouldn’t have to deal with it down the road. With this new CBA no teams wants to be over the luxury tax if they can avoid it. Here is a table with examples from Larry Coon’s Salary Cap Faq to help explain why:
Here are the tax rates beginning 2013-14:
Team salary above tax level Non-repeater Repeater Lower Upper Tax rate Incremental maximum Tax rate Incremental maximum $0 $4,999,999 $1.50 $7.5 million $2.50 $12.5 million $5,000,000 $9,999,999 $1.75 $8.75 million $2.75 $13.75 million $10,000,000 $14,999,999 $2.50 $12.5 million $3.50 $17.5 million $15,000,000 $19,999,999 $3.25 $16.25 million $4.25 $21.25 million $20,000,000 N/A $3.75, and increasing $.50 for
each additional $5 million.
N/A $4.75, and increasing $.50 for
each additional $5 million.
- A team with a team salary $12 million over the tax level in 2011-12 pays a tax of $12 million.
- A team with a team salary $12 million over the tax level in 2013-14 pays a tax of $21.25 million (the incremental maximum of $7.5 million for $0 to $4,999,999, plus the incremental maximum of $8.75 million for $5 million to $9,999,999, plus $2 million times the incremental rate of $2.50 for $10 million to $14,999,999).
- A team with a team salary $4 million over the tax level in 2015-16 pays a tax of $10 million ($4 million times the repeater rate of $2.50 for $0 to $4,999,999) if they also were taxpayers in three of the previous four seasons, or pays a tax of $6 million ($4 million times the non-repeater rate of $1.50 for $0 to $4,999,999) if they were not taxpayers in at least three of the previous four seasons.
Right now Eric Gordon may just be too much of a risk for teams to chance with in a trade, IF the Hornets even want to trade him.