Southwest Notes: Gordon, Ball, Hart, Winslow

Rockets guard Eric Gordon hopes a weight-loss program over the hiatus will help him overcome the knee issues that have slowed him this season, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. A team source tells Iko that Gordon has managed to drop 12 pounds through diet changes and track sprints.

“I think Eric Gordon’s a big key for us,” coach Mike D’Antoni said recently. “He has the potential to put us over the top.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets have been preparing to face the Nuggets in the opening round of the playoffs, Iko adds in the same piece. That would be the pairing if the league goes straight to the postseason and uses its traditional formula. If conferences are set aside and the teams are seeded 1-16, Houston would face the Jazz in the first round, which Iko believes is a more favorable matchup.
  • William Guillory and Danny Leroux of The Athletic discuss whether the Pelicans should give rookie scale extensions to Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. Leroux recommends offering Ball a deal starting in the $13-$15MM range with the willingness to match a larger offer when he becomes a restricted free agent in 2021. Leroux believes there’s more urgency to get a deal done with Hart because his value may rise by next year and suggests that he might get something in the range of the four-year, $52MM contract that the Celtics gave Marcus Smart. Looking at other New Orleans free agents, Leroux expects the team to try to re-sign Kenrich Williams, while Jahlil Okafor will probably be let go. Frank Jackson is a tougher call that depends on whether the front office believes he will become a rotation player.
  • Justise Winslow discusses the hiatus with Evan Barnes of The Commercial Appeal, including a plan to adopt a full vegan diet after his 25th birthday next March. Winslow is still waiting to make his debut with the Grizzlies, as a back injury kept him out of action after being traded in February. “I’ve just been waiting to put on that jersey,” Winslow said. “I’ve been grinding, but I miss the team. There’s just something special about this team.”
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11 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Gordon, Ball, Hart, Winslow

  1. Simmons>Russ

    It’s hard to judge Josh Hart considering next season he could be the teams 4th SG.
    They already have Jrue Holiday, NAW and Bart plus a top pick in this years draft.

    For me I would trade away NAW to the Thunder for their second round pick this year and their first round pick next year.
    This opens up the SG position but also gives them back a future first to spend in a years time.
    I’d also sign and trade Brandon Ingram.

    We all know that Zion Williamson is their best player and in the future is going to be the face of the franchise like Anthony Davis was. They need to start building around him now, not just get good players and keep good players and hope for the best.
    Zion is a SF/PF, he can shoot an open 3 but isn’t a knock down shooter, he rebounds well, blocks shots really well and scores inside by being bigger stronger faster than everyone.
    Ingram isn’t ideal to build around him with.
    Ingram is also a SF/PF he is long and scores a lot of mid range jumpers, he can shoot from deep but that isn’t his go to game. He also likes to have lots of touches and play make for others.
    Firstly he plays the same position as Zion, secondly he doesn’t exactly space the floor well, thirdly he takes away a lot of touches from Zion and plays at a completely different speed.
    Lastly Ingram is going to want a max deal and that’ll clog up the Pelicans books especially with Ball needing a new deal also.

    I think the Pelicans should trade away NAW for a first in 2021 from the thunder. Sign and trade Ingram and then draft LaMelo Ball.
    Together the Ball brothers would be perfect fits around Zion. Both tall long and fast players that excel at passing the ball and both with improving 3 point shots to give ideal spacing.
    For next season you can have Holiday and Melo share minutes starting at SG and leading the second unit. While listening to trade offers for Holiday come in without having to rush anything.

    Zo Melo Zion is the best future and best fit for this team.

    Then in next years draft Isiah Todd looks like he would be a another good fit as a deep shooting PF that can also defend well. After Melo Ball they should look to build with a big than can shoot and space

  2. Sillivan

    Rockets play terrible offense on these 4 games
    2017 playoffs Spurs
    4th quarter game 5
    4th quarter game 6 score 11 points
    Spurs without Kawhi
    Ginobili plays 16 minutes

    2019 playoffs Warriors
    4th quarter Game 5 without Durant
    4th quarter Game 6 without Durant

  3. Gary G.

    Rockets are counting on Eric Gordon huh? I thought he was the one guy they would have to trade away because of salary-cap problems ? Not sure if he stays or goes.

    Maybe they told him get in shape get healthy so we can trade you. Who knows? Maybe they give it a run one more time. No problem with that but they’re missing capella. In my opinion capella was a huge component of a playoff roster for them. Freed up things for Harden or else the LOB, plus protected the rim decent.

    • Sillivan

      Rockets owners has at least 3 billion debts
      Has to cut costs
      They are the worst rebounding team in the nba now

  4. Sillivan

    Trade ideA
    76ers get
    Ingram, Hart, Hayes, NAW

    Pelicans get
    Embiid,J Rich,add salary to
    save luxury tax

    • Simmons>Russ

      So the Sixers go from being a young tram that is the best team at home in the league and is in the playoffs.
      To trading away it’s best player, adding Ingram on the max and some rookies…?

      They would never ever make this trade

    • All American Johnsonville Dogs

      Not bad. I’d do it but 76ers need a future 1st and future 2nd.

      76ers aren’t unloading Horford’s contract.

      Ingram, Hart, and NAW give them shooters around Simmons, which they desperately need. They also pick up a capable backup to Horford in Hayes.

  5. El Don

    Of course everyone in the league rather play the UTA than DEN, I mean the Jazz is a meh team with nothing special in it or going for them… now the Nuggets is a very good, promising & young team, with one of the most special players in the league, Jokic… & MPJ can very well become an all-star at least, if he gets the chance to play, the guy is an unbelievable shooter!

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Ball is overrated, so gd luck with that. Lonzo is worth keeping. Why would any team need a 4th SG? NWA is 21 why would u want to move him. Ingram ain’t going anywhere. Looks like Pels will build around Zion, Ingram, Lonzo. All really young and bright future. Doubt they rush with them. Holiday they can get a lot for. Philly should go after Holiday. IMO he puts them in Finals.
    Houston needs Gordon this yr. But they have been talking about trading him. Since beginning of the yr. D Antoni is not coming back. Rockets not looking good with this group. Warriors coming back. Both LA teams are good. Denver is the new team. Seems like they may redo team. Didn’t agree with moving Capela. Only thing to come out of this virus. Is all teams should be healthy. This May be Rockets last shot lols.

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