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Past Fantasy Outlooks
For the second straight year, Gordon slotted in as the Rockets' sixth man, providing an elite scoring presence off the bench when James Harden or Chris Paul came out for a breather. Despite Paul's addition and his designation as a bench player, Gordon received a starter's workload most nights and averaged 31.2 minutes per game. That allowed him to once again up his scoring to 18.0 points per game, which marked his highest number since the 2011-12 season. Gordon's ability to knock down three-pointers at a very high rate helped him continue to excel in the Rockets' fast-paced offense and his 3.2 deep balls per game wound up placing him third in the entire league, behind only Stephen Curry and teammate Harden. With averages of just 2.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists, Gordon's Fantasy value clearly lies in his scoring and three-point production. However, the Rockets' offseason addition of Carmelo Anthony does threaten those numbers. Anthony is primarily prided for his offense and the potential for the Rockets to bring him off the bench alongside Gordon could cut into the latter's usage and shot attempts. Gordon will still be in consideration for a selection in most standard leagues due to his elite three-point totals, but with a player like Anthony, who averaged a whopping 15.0 shot attempts, potentially soaking up touches, Gordon's numbers could take a hit overall.
Gordon's 2016-17 campaign, and debut year with the Rockets, was his first time transitioning into a bench role following five years as a starter with the Pelicans. While he did draw 15 starts across 75 games due to injuries in the backcourt, Gordon was largely relied upon as the team's top offensive threat off the bench, a role he excelled in and eventually earned him Sixth Man of the Year honors. The change in role certainly didn't hurt his value either, as Gordon still averaged 31.0 minutes per game. At 16.2 points, he averaged his highest scoring total since the 2012-13 season, while also adding 2.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.3 three-pointers. The uptempo offense run by the Rockets was a big reason for the increase in production and that's unlikely to change moving forward considering its success last season. While Gordon is fully expected to remain the team's sixth man, they did trade for Chris Paul, bringing in another elite guard to play next to James Harden in the backcourt. That could come at the expense of some of Gordon's playing time, so he many not be able to match his impressive 2016-17 numbers. A 38 percent career shooter from beyond the arc, Gordon still fits the Rockets' offensive perfectly and he's going to get plenty of shots as the top option in the second unit. That said, temper expectations a bit considering his usage could drop with the Rockets planning to stagger the playing time of Paul and Harden in an attempt to keep at least one of them on the court at all times.
Gordon missed at least 18 games for the seventh consecutive season, furthering his reputation as one of the league’s most injury-prone players. This time around, it was a fractured ring finger that cost Gordon nearly 40 games over the final four months of the season. Prior to the injury, Gordon started 44 games and posted numbers that were, for the most part, right in line with his career averages. Gordon produced 15.2 points, 2.7 assists and and 2.2 rebounds while converting his 6.5 three-point attempts per game at a 38.4 percent clip. Gordon and the Pelicans mutually parted ways over the summer, as he signed a four-year, $53 million contract to follow teammate Ryan Anderson to Houston. He’ll likely be penciled in as Houston’s sixth man, backing up James Harden at shooting guard and likely spending considerable time playing alongside Harden in the backcourt. Gordon is unlikely to reach last season’s mark of 32.9 minutes per game, but if he can stay even relatively healthy, he could be a major bargain in the middle or later rounds of fantasy drafts. On paper, at least, coach Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced system should suit Gordon well, as should Harden’s ability to penetrate and kick to shooters on the perimeter.
Gordon had another injury-filled season in 2014-15, missing 21 games in large part due to a labrum injury. The shooting guard played in 61 games and averaged 33 minutes per contest. The centerpiece of the deal that sent Chris Paul out of town, Gordon averaged a career-worst 13.4 points per game last season with 2.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.8 steals, and 141 three-pointers. Although the scoring output looks weak on the whole, Gordon actually faired almost two points per game better after the All-Star break, the further removed from his injury he got. A noted positive from the previous season is Gordon's marksmanship from beyond the arc, where he shot a career-best 45 percent from downtown despite mustering a meager 41 percent from the field overall. That figure placed Gordon third in the league in three-point percentage, slotted just ahead of new head coach Alvin Gentry's former sharpshooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Now with Gentry in tow, it can be expected that Gordon will continue to find good looks from beyond the arc this season. The downside to Gordon this year will, as always, be his health. The new regime in New Orleans figures to monitor Gordon's playing time very closely in an effort to keep the guard healthy for the duration of the season. Now entering his eighth season, Gordon hasn't played more than 64 games since his rookie season way back in 2008-09.
Eric Gordon enters his seventh NBA season attempting to stay healthy after playing 64 games a year ago, the most he's played in a season since his rookie campaign. In 32 minutes of action, Gordon averaged 15.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game while draining 101 three-pointers for the season. For Gordon, the 15.4 points was the lowest scoring figure he's posted in his career, and it's unlikely that number will improve with Anthony Davis continuing to progress and Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson expected to return to action. Where Gordon excelled last season was from beyond the arc. The shooting guard connected on just 44 percent of his field goals, but 39 percent of his three-point attempts. Gordon's career hasn't exactly taken off since being the centerpiece of the controversial Chris Paul trade a few years back, but the potential is still there for the 25-year-old, and having a capable distributor like Holiday should only improve the looks he gets on the offensive end. Gordon may not be the focal point of the Pelicans' offense, but he can still score in bunches and provides a lift in the steals category, averaging more than a steal per game in every season of his career.
Gordon enters 2013-14 coming off surgery on his ankle, but he is expected to be 100 percent by the start of the season. Despite playing in only 42 games and not playing in the second game of back-to-back sets last season, Gordon was the team's leading scorer with 17.0 points per game. Everyone knows Gordon is a talented player, but his issue has been staying healthy. He hasn't played in more than 62 games since his rookie season with the Clippers, when he played 78. He's played fewer than 60 games in each of his last three seasons. When healthy, Gordon will be the starting shooting guard and a threat to pour in 20-plus points on a given night.
Gordon did little to shed his injury-prone label in 2011-12, missing all but nine of 66 games. Acquired by the Hornets in the Chris Paul trade last offseason, Gordon was able to provide only a glimpse of how he would fit in with his new team due to only playing in nine games. Gordon tried in vain to exit New Orleans this offseason, signing a max offer sheet with the Suns and essentially pleading with the Hornets not to match the offer. Alas, the Hornets matched the offer sheet, and he’ll return to a suddenly more exciting Hornets squad that includes No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis. Ryan Anderson, the league’s reigning Most Improved Player, also joined the team in a sign-and-trade deal. Even if not completely healthy last season, Gordon wasn’t far off his career per-game numbers, averaging 20.6 points, 3.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. Like many of the shooting guards profiled, much of Gordon’s skill set revolves around scoring the basketball, but he could take on more of combo guard type of role if first-rounder Austin Rivers isn’t immediately up to the task at point guard. As a result, Gordon could see his assists climb, especially now that he’s playing alongside the athletic Davis. Gordon will likely come at a discount on draft day given his injury history, but if healthy, he should have ample opportunity to showcase his scoring ability given the dearth of established perimeter scorers on the roster.
Gordon has quietly become one of the best shooting guards in fantasy, but he’s struggled to stay healthy the last two seasons, making his prospects for this season somewhat hard to gauge. Gordon’s efficiency as a jump shooter and talent for getting to the charity stripe have made him more consistent on a game-to-game basis, and his strong shooting percentages from the floor and the line are an unusually valuable combo. Now in New Orleans, Gordon should be the team's unquestioned first option on offense and could be among the league leaders in scoring and threes.
It's hard to say that Gordon was a fantasy asset last year. In standard, 12x13 leagues, he was south of the league median in terms of overall value. And not only that, but he had almost exactly the same line as in 2008-09, his rookie season. Points (16.9 last year, 16.1 the year before), threes (1.9, 1.7), assist (3.0, 2.8): if the showed improvements, it was likely due to the commensurate increase in minutes (36:00, 34:17) as opposed to anything else. Anyone who took him 50th or so overall, thinking that a 20-year-old with legitimate scoring ability was sure to break out – well, that was a disappointed fantasy owner. Of course, the fact remains: Gordon is still only a 21-year-old, and he still has legitimate scoring ability. As for the likelihood of a serious breakout, that would require probably four or five more shots or a sudden capacity for shot-blocking.
Like many other rookies in the NBA, Gordon spent his first few months in the league getting adjusted to the faster pace of the game as well as the increased physicality and talent of his competitors. He was used sparingly as a three-point specialist in November and averaged just 7.8 points in 19 minutes. A trade in late-November saw Cuttino Mobley jettisoned to New York, which vaulted Gordon into the starting lineup and called for him to play big minutes for the first time. Gordon embraced the added responsibility and flourished as the season progressed – he dazzled during the 51-game stretch from January on, averaging 19.8 points, 3.4 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 treys, 1.0 steal, 0.5 blocks and 2.5 turnovers on 46.1-percent shooting from the field and 86.8-percent from the line. Those numbers put him just outside the top-50 in per-game value. With the Clippers finally rid of Zach Randolph, things are looking up for the team and consequently for Gordon’s outlook this season. The biggest jump in a player’s value is traditionally between his rookie and sophomore seasons, so Gordon could be in store for a big year after finishing in the top-75 last season.
The short-to-medium term plan for seventh-overall pick Gordon is to serve as an apprentice under Cuttino Mobley and Ricky Davis until he’s ready to step into the starting backcourt. A 6-4 guard with an outstanding outside shot and the strength to pinball his way through the lane, Gordon was the leading scorer in the Big Ten last season despite playing through a wrist injury and seemed very badly affected by the controversy surrounding coach Kelvin Sampson’s departure. Before the draft, several teams were reportedly considering Gordon as a potential point guard. No danger of that with the Clippers, who have Baron Davis and now Jason Williams to run the show. That will free Gordon to play his more natural off-guard position, which should speed his development.
More Fantasy News
Scores season-high 17 points
Gordon had 17 points (6-11 FG, 4-7 3PT, 1-2 FT), three rebounds, one assist and one block in 30 minutes during Monday's 122-116 win at the Pelicans.
Drills three triples Saturday
Gordon amassed just nine points (3-9 Fg, 3-7 3Pt), and two rebounds in 21 minutes during Saturday's 117-94 victory over Chicago.
Coming off bench
Cleared to play