Although it's looking increasingly less likely that Steve Nash will be re-signing in Phoenix, the Suns are eyeing a number of potential targets to pursue using their expected cap space. Among those targets, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, is restricted free agent Eric Gordon. Coro says the Suns are preparing to make a "large offer" to Gordon, who could command in the neighborhood of $12MM annually.
The Hornets formally extended a qualifying offer to Gordon on Thursday, so New Orleans will be in the driver's seat, able to match any offer sheet Gordon signs with another club. Although one report this week suggested the 23-year-old's interest in a long-term deal with the Hornets may be wavering, most reports indicate New Orleans is committed to locking up the main piece from December's Chris Paul trade, no matter the cost.
The Suns have just over $30MM in guaranteed salary on the books for 2012/13, though that doesn't mean they have $28MM in cap space, since cap holds for free agents like Nash, Robin Lopez, Aaron Brooks, and Grant Hill take up plenty of space. But if the Suns get quick resolution on their free agents, whether that means re-signing or renouncing them, the team could still have plenty of room to make a significant offer to Gordon. If their pursuit fails, the Suns could maintain cap flexibility and potentially make a run at James Harden next summer, says Coro.