The problem with the world having problems is that it leads to more people having problems. Problems with people, with organizations, all the way down the ladder to professional sports.
One particular professional sport, one particular professional sports team and the name of that team is the New Orleans Pelicans. There are a few problems with the Pelicans, problems with the players on the roster, but only one can be fixed in my time writing this article.
His name is Eric Gordon, oh come on don’t act surprised. His season stat line went like this: 15.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.2 SPG and a player efficiency rating of 14.9. Gordon played and started 64 games this season; however his health kept his play in question.
The question is Gordon the problem player on the New Orleans Pelicans roster? The answer is yes, but this problem can be fixed.
Everyone that surrounds themselves with the Pelicans thought the team was going to benefit from acquiring Gordon. However, he hasn’t lived up to expectations and with Tyreke Evans playing well towards the end of the season Gordon is on the cutting edge of staying with the team… in my mind.
For the Pelicans to be successful they need Anthony Davis on the court, with a point guard who can stay healthy, which may not be Jrue Holiday. The team needs a shooting guard who can drive to the rim, but also make shots, which I believe is Evans. Gordon isn’t going to play center or small forward, so there is no room for him in the starting lineup.
Gordon wasn’t suited up in his uniform for the last few games of the season, and the Pelicans ended on a three game winning streak. The team needs to make the playoffs next season, and that all starts by solving the Gordon problem.
First, Gordon needs to be shopped around harder than he was when the trade deadline was approaching. The Pelicans need to see what they can actually get for him. This years draft is a strong one, and if the Pelicans can trade Gordon for a late first rounder and a mid second rounder that would help the team out tremendously.
Second, if Gordon can’t be traded than the Pelicans need to find success while using him. Evans averaged about two more rebounds and two more assists than Gordon throughout the season. Once Evans hit the starting lineup he gave the team a spark, Gordon’s spark isn’t as high of a flame as the 24 year old from Pennsylvania. The sixth man role isn’t what Gordon is looking for, but he is a streaky shooter and lacks that instinct that a shooting guard must have. Don’t get me wrong, Gordon has great young talent, but if the Pelicans keep him, coming off the bench would be the best option for the team.
The third option to solving the Gordon problem is to just let him walk. That will be a sad picture to see, but this last season was supposed to be the one for the Pelicans and injuries, leadership skills and not enough team players played a huge role in the missed postseason.
There isn’t a clear solution to the Gordon problem, however giving him the boot will free up plenty of cap space, but trading him away for veteran talent will bring in the missing leadership this team needs.