The Lakers have almost exclusively been linked to guards ahead of NBA free agency opening up on Friday, and their latest rumored target is no exception, as multiple reports indicate that the team is set to pursue veteran shooting guard Eric Gordon.
Gordon, 34, was cut by the LA Clippers on Wednesday to avoid his $21 million salary being guaranteed for next season. NBA insider Marc Stein and Kelly Iko of The Athletic broke the news on Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka planning to pursue one of his former clients from his days as an agent:
Among the Lakers' offseason aims, league sources say, is re-signing Dennis Schröder after his strong contributions last season, gauging Eric Gordon's availability and also exploring pathways to possibly re-sign Malik Beasley and Bamba.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 29, 2023
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Eric Gordon is drawing early interest from a number of teams, including the Lakers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Suns, Bucks and Trail Blazers, sources tell @KellyIko.— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) June 29, 2023
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For the right price, Gordon could fill a need for the Lakers. The career 37.1% 3-point shooter shot that exact percentage last season, and averaged 12.4 points per game in 69 appearances for the Houston Rockets and Clippers last season.
But if the Lakers are bringing Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell back, I’m not sure Gordon is worth pursuing at salary levels above the veteran’s minimum given his age, miles and limitations defensively. The team is already going after Bruce Brown with their mid-level exception, and so maybe Gordon could be worth targeting with the smaller, $4.5 million bi-annual to give him a slight bump over the minimum if the team is going to hard cap itself anyway, but the full $12.3 mid-level would seem to be an overpay considering they have decent options in the backcourt already, even without adding Brown.
Update — Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported that the Lakers would likely only target Gordon with a portion of the mid-level, not the full thing:
LAL could also elect to split the MLE and pursue multiple players with that $. PG Dennis Schroder, who had a successful season with the Lakers last year, and SG Eric Gordon, who was waived by LAC on Wednesday, are names they could target in that scenario, sources told ESPN. https://t.co/pfm2b4h8Lq— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 29, 2023
Is Gordon a name you’d like the Lakers to sign? Or would you prefer they pursue other options when NBA free agency opens up tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below.
For all the latest on NBA free agency, check out our Silver Screen and Roll Lakers free agency rumors tracker. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.