If you are a Phoenix Suns fan, you should be excited about the news that high-scoring shooting guard Eric Gordon has agreed to sign a max contract offer sheet with the team July 11 when it is allowed to be done. With the team looking at potential losses of both Steve Nash and Grant Hill, the team could be looking at a huge facelift.
Gordon makes the perfect first step. Gordon is just the type of player that Phoenix needs, regardless of what happens with Nash.
For the past two seasons, the team has offensively been held together by Nash. When Amare Stoudemire left and then when Jason Richardson was traded, Phoenix was left with no real scorer. It was Nash and a bunch of guys that can shoot the ball some. But not a single player you could count on to get a bucket when you really need it.
Even still, the offense could put up points, but don't let that fool you. That was all Steve Nash. He was and is THAT good. His ability to shoot and run an offense can mask a lot of offensive flaws on a team. He creates chemistry that has been unseen in the NBA. But the Suns always needed a real scorer.
Gordon fits the profile, and will be a great fit whether or not Nash returns.
An ESPN Insider profile describes Gordon like this:
Gordon missed 26 games but still firmly planted himself as a rising star by averaging 23.6 points per 40 minutes...Gordon mostly gets acclaim for his jump shot, but that's misplaced -- it's his ability to get to the line that sets him apart...As for his jumper, it's good, but not special...You don't want to leave him open for it, certainly, and the threat of that shot opens driving lanes for him. But the real damage comes when he uses his powerful build in the paint.
Gordon has really improved at creating for others as well...His rebounding is still quite poor, especially for somebody so strong, but defensively he's been reasonably solid. All told he's one of the league's brightest young wing players, and it's pretty easy to foresee an All-Star Game or two in his future.
If Nash returns (which daily seems to be less and less of a possibility), Gordon brings a dimension to the offense that Phoenix has not had. Think Joe Johnson/Leandro Barbosa, but with a little less of a threat from three-point range. Nash and Gordon would make a great backcourt pairing.
If Nash does not return, Gordon still is a great fit. The Suns offense, as noted, was something like fools gold because it was all about Nash. Jared Dudley is no offensive threat on his old. Grant Hill was not anymore. Channing Frye or Marcin Gortat? Don't think so. Nash made the unit cohesive.
Whoever becomes the Suns starting point guard -- free agent Goran Dragic, rookie Kendall Marshall or even returning player Sebastian Telfair -- they would absolutely need an offensive threat to pass the ball to. Gordon still fits.
I am a firm believer that a team's best offensive player should not be its point guard. This is why the Suns need a guy like Gordon. He is a proven scorer. Phoenix doesn't have one. Whatever point guard the Suns bring in, they will need someone to pass the ball to.
The downside to all this? Although Gordon wants to be a Sun and the Suns want Gordon to be a Sun, since he is a restricted free agent the New Orleans Hornets can match the contract and end all this talk -- and reports say that the Hornets intend on doing so.
If that happens, it would just be yet another unfortunate event in the history of the Suns.
Maybe Suns fans shouldn't get their hopes up because of this very possible scenario. But one thing is clear (to me, at least), Suns fans should welcome and applaud the pursuit and hopefully addition of Eric Gordon to their favorite team.
You can get more Suns coverage at Bright Side of the Sun.