Posted June 30, 2012

Report: Phoenix Suns to make Eric Gordon a ‘large offer’

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The Phoenix Suns are preparing an offer for restricted free agent Eric Gordon. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns are preparing to make restricted free agent Eric Gordon a “large offer” with approximately $23 million in salary-cap space, The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro reported Saturday.

The New Orleans Hornets, though, have already reportedly promised to match any offer for Gordon, even if it ends up being a maximum-level contract of five years and $80 million. If Gordon signed an offer sheet with the Suns, the Hornets would have three days to match it.

Coro breaks down why an offer could make sense for the Suns. If Gordon signs and the Hornets don’t match, the Suns would get a prolific wing scorer. If not, it would show fans they are committed to spending.

If Gordon was the choice and it failed, the Suns could be satisfied with showing the fan base a willingness to spend. They would still conserve the cap space for a trade taking on money in the summer or during the season — or 2013 free agency, when they would be interested in Oklahoma City shooting guard James Harden.

The Hornets acquired Gordon from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Chris Paul trade last December. Gordon averaged 20.6 points per game on 45 percent shooting. But he only played in nine games while battling knee and back injuries.

But despite his injury history, the Hornets see Gordon as a key part of their future core, along with recent Top 10 draft picks Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.