Eric Gordon's future in New Orleans seems to be a bit uncertain, but one thing is for sure: The Hornets will have their chance to keep him.
The team announced Thursday it has extended Gordon a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent. The Hornets can match any offer made to him this summer.
Gordon battled injury for most of his only season in New Orleans playing in only nine games. He was traded to the Hornets as the key piece in the Chris Paul trade with the Clippers.
In CBSSports.com's Top 40 Free Agents, Gordon is ranked second overall. Ben Golliver says:
Gordon sat out a vast majority of the 2011-12 season with a knee injury, but his abilty to score and shoot will command a maximum salary offer (or close to it) At 23, the best is still yet to come and all signs point to the Hornets retaining him to position him as the outside complement to the inside presence of presumptive No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis.
Gordon averaged a team-leading 20.6 points in addition to 3.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in nine games (all starts) while shooting 45 percent from the field. The Hornets were 6-3 when Gordon played this season and he led the team in scoring in all but one of those games.
It's unknown whether or not Gordon will remain with the Hornets through this offseason, but they at least want to give themselves a shot at keeping him. He has serious star potential and teaming him with Anthony Davis would seem to give New Orleans quite a serious young core.
But other teams see Gordon as a big free agent and might come in offering major money. The Hornets worked on an extension for Gordon last season but weren't hitting the mark on dollars. Which means they might not be in the same ballpark again this summer.