NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04: Eric Gordon #10 of the New Orleans Hornets shoots the ball over Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Arena on January 4, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 76ers defeated the Hornets 101-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Yesterday's rumors that Eric Gordon has a "fractured kneecap" appear to be completely unfounded, as Yahoo! Sports is now reporting that Gordon's knee is "structurally sound" and that an extension is being worked toward.
Yahoo!'s Marc Spears reports:
"In terms of my contract extension, Dell Demps indicated that it’s out of his control and NBA commissioner David Stern has the last determination on the contract extension," said Gordon, who will be a restricted free agent this summer if he doesn’t sign an extension.
"The doctor said my knee will be 100 percent sound with rest," Gordon said.
Gordon’s agent, Rob Pelinka, has engaged in recent contract talks with the Hornets’ front office, but hasn’t received an official offer. Gordon told Yahoo! Sports on Monday night he was informed by Hornets general manager Dell Demps that Stern must decide whether to extend an offer. The NBA owns the Hornets. Gordon wants to re-sign with New Orleans, but is uncertain if or when Stern will reach out to him or Pelinka
So while the news appears strong on the injury front, the chances of an extension itself would seem rather slim. The deadline is tomorrow, and if a give-and-take process in terms of negotiating an extension is yet to begin, it's tough to imagine things will be worked out in the next 24 hours.
On SBNation NBA, our Dear Leader Tom Ziller has some excellent thoughts on this very issue. The full column is worth your time, but here's a relevant excerpt:
We have less than 48 hours to go, and Gordon's agent hasn't even received an offer from the Hornets because the Hornets can't extend an offer without the approval of the league commissioner. How about that? A young player Stern claimed the Hornets could build around after trading CP3 is waving in the wind ... as the commissioner decides how he wants to run a team he's trying to sell.
This is ridiculously unfair to the Hornets players -- not just Gordon, but the whole squad.
If Stern plays hardball and Gordon leaves in 2012 or 2013, then New Orleans is left with only Al-Farouq Aminu and a mid-first round draft pick to show for Chris Paul. That brings us back to square one with Stern as New Orleans' decision-maker, back to the night he nixed the Lakers trade: we have no idea what priorities trump those of the Hornets and New Orleans itself in Stern's decision-making process. Is he playing hardball with Gordon for the good of the Hornets' future and New Orleans' fans, or to keep the other league owners off of his back?