By Mike Stearman, PSO Director of Basketball Operations
Aug 31, 2019

After executing a blockbuster deal for Russell Westbrook just months ago, Daryl Morey doubled down on winning now and extended Eric Gordon to a three-year, $54.5 million deal, with a $20.9M option in 2023-24. A crucial piece to one of the best offenses in the league, let’s take a look at his future in Houston and how this affects their title chances.

  • Rockets have won 173 games over the past three years and are 9-1 favorites to win the title according the Caesar’s
  • Eric Gordon was 1 of 6 players to make 200 3-pt FG each of the last 3 seasons. The others: Steph Curry, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, & Kemba Walker
  • Gordon is a career 37% 3-point shooter
  • The Rockets led the NBA in 3-pointers each of the past three seasons
  • Averaged between 13.4 and 22.3 points every year of his career
  • 2016-17 Sixth Man of the Year
  • Eric Gordon 12.2 PER last season was the worst of his career
  • Gordon will turn 31 midway through the 2019-20 season, his 12th season overall

Instead of testing free agency in the summer of 2020, Eric Gordon elected to secure his financial future with the Rockets after some of the most successful years of his career. He’s under contract for four more years in Houston, with a teetering non-guaranteed fifth year based on All-Star/Championship incentives. Gordon will continue to provide a crucial third option scoring punch for one of the most prolific offenses in the NBA, and his spacing is as important as ever considering the shooting deficiencies from newly acquired Russell Westbrook. Keep in mind, however, that a team’s direction can change in the blink of an eye. If the Westbrook-Harden experiment goes south, Gordon’s annual salary of $18.1 million could become a valuable trade chip if the Rockets pursue alternatives. 

Extending Eric Gordon erases any remaining financial flexibility from the Rockets cap sheet. At the start of the contract extension in 2020-21, Houston will have $115M locked into just four players with P.J. Tucker also entering the last year of his contract. It’s up to management to find some diamonds in the rough via the mid-level exception, veterans minimum, or the waiver wire to shore up depth issues on the bench. Behind Gordon, the only viable options at SF are Gerald Green, who averaged only 8.8 MPG in last year’s playoffs, and Danuel House, an unproven fourth-year player who’s getting better, but can’t be trusted in a decisive playoff game just yet, which is what Houston must consider. Extending Gordon keeps their championship core intact for the next few years, and prolongs the duration of Houston having one of the best starting lineups in all of basketball. 

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