There’s still a chance shooting guard Eric Gordon will be dealt by the Pelicans despite his latest injury, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The Pelicans were exploring trade offers for Gordon before he underwent surgery to repair a fractured right ring finger, which will require a four-to-six week recovery period, Reid continues. Gordon, who is making $15.5MM, becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. He started 40 of the team’s first 41 games, averaging 15.0 points per game, but he missed over 100 games due to injury in his first three seasons with the Pelicans, Reid adds. The Kings reportedly refused an offer from the Pelicans earlier this month to deal Rudy Gay for Gordon and Alonzo Gee.
In other news around the Southwest Division:
- Veteran combo forward Josh Smith has already transformed the Rockets’ rotation since they re-acquired him last week from the Clippers, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. Smith’s passing out of the post and ability to guard multiple positions allows interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff to stick with a small lineup, Watkins observes. Bickerstaff also likes the way Smith doesn’t shy away from taking big shots, Watkins adds. “He’s a guy, again, because of his ability to pass the ball, he’s a guy that brings everybody together,” Bickerstaff told Watkins. “He can do that because he can make all the passes, he can make all the plays. Then his courage to shoot the ball late when he’s missed a few, most guys would turn those down and since we’ve seen him and he’s been with us, he’s thrived in those situations.”
- The free agent signings of power forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and David West during the offseason gave 38-year-old Manu Ginobili the final push to keep playing, Nick Moyle of the San Antonio Express-News writes. “I wanted to take this challenge,” Ginobili told Moyle. “Sometimes you need a little change, a little shake. But when you see that LaMarcus Aldridge is part of the team, it’s not a little shake any more. So it is very exciting and we have high expectations.” The Spurs’ shooting guard has justified his decision by averaging 10.3 points, nearly the same as last season’s 10.5, despite playing a career-low 20.2 minutes per game, Moyle adds.