Like fellow guard John Wall, Gordon is a veteran with multiple years left on his contract who likely doesn’t have a place in Houston’s long-term plans as the team pivots to a rebuild. The Rockets and Wall have reached an agreement to hold the point guard out of games while they seek a new home for him, but it doesn’t sound like it will come to that with Gordon.
As Iko details, the Rockets have communicated in meetings with Gordon’s representatives this offseason that they’ve love to have the shooting guard stick around. And Iko refers to the 32-year-old as a “consummate professional” who will play whatever role is asked of him and won’t push the team for a trade. Still, Gordon acknowledges that it will be a challenge playing for a retooling club after having gotten accustomed to contending for a championship.
“It’s tough for a person in my situation,” Gordon said. “It’s tough going from going to the Western Conference Finals against one of the best teams of all time and being very competitive each year. And now, it’s a restart with no high expectations at all. So it’s much different.
“… But my ultimate goal is to just go out there and play, help, show that I’m healthy and gravitate to these guys to get better.”
Gordon is under contract for three more years, but his final year is non-guaranteed, so he’s essentially only owed about $37.8MM over the next two seasons. That will make him much easier to move than Wall if the Rockets want to pursue a deal, though he’ll have to show he’s healthy first.
In 2020/21, Gordon was limited to just 27 games due to knee and groin injuries. He has made it a priority to get back to 100% this offseason, in terms of both health and conditioning.
“Physically and mentally, I’m definitely in a good spot,” Gordon told Iko. “Looking forward to training camp with the team and don’t have to really worry about any setbacks or whatnot.”
When healthy, Gordon can still be an effective role player on a playoff team. Although he has struggled with his three-point shot during his last two injury-plagued seasons, he averaged 16.8 PPG with a .364 3PT% during his first three years in Houston from 2016-19. Last season, he recorded 17.8 PPG, but made just 32.9% of his threes.