|The Pacers have interest in Eric Gordon as a restricted free agent. (Getty Images)|
When Eric Gordon reportedly rejected the Hornets' four-year extension offer, it had quite a few consequences. The Hornets will have to convince their best player to re-sign in restricted free agency or match what will be a huge offer from him, based off of what is obviously a complicated relationship with the often-injured but dynamic shooting guard, or else run the risk of him signing the qualifying offer and entering unrestricted free agency in 2013. And it means other teams will be circling like wolves around a wounded deer.
One of those predators is the Indiana Pacers, according to multiple reports.
Both Yahoo Sports and the Indianapolis Star report that the Pacers will make huge runs at Gordon in restricted free agency.
Hard to see how they get him, however. The Pacers, under the new CBA, can only offer Gordon a four-year deal, and for presumably less money than the Hornets offered. If Gordon were to sign the offer sheet, the Hornets would have every ability and inclination to match it. Even a front-loaded contract likely wouldn't make the Hornets blink with the cap room they have at their disposal. It would essentially take GM Dell Demps letting Gordon go due to an unwillingness to play for the Hornets. That decision would also probably seal the fate of the Hornets for the next three-plus seasons, and threaten everyone in the organization's job as ownership, whenever it gets settled, if it gets settled, would look to clean house.
So, no, that's probably not going to happen.
But it doesn't mean the Pacers shouldn't give it a shot. Gordon with that core would be pretty exceptional and it would give him the opportunity to contend for a title in the city he's from originally, where he was born and in the state he went to college. The Pacers won't be the last team to be linked to an interest in Gordon now that he'll enter restricted free agency, but they may be the best.