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Eric Gordon's travel schedule is full for a guy expected to return to New Orleans

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

Eric Gordon is expected by everyone, including most recently SI.com, to be re-signed by New Orleans, whether through a new deal or a match of a contract in restricted free agency. That's just kind of how it works.

But he's going to get the most out of his free agency experience regardless.

That's a lot of frequent flyer miles for a guy who can't control his own destiny. This is likely about pursuit of a max deal, as the Hornets may be dragging their feet due to his injury history. Gordon is a borderline max player, but get him out on the open market with a bunch of teams with cap space and someone is going to throw the max at him.

The Hornets have every reason to match, as they can build a new core with Gordon, No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis, and No. 10 pick Austin Rivers at combo guard. Throw in some veterans and a few other young prospects and you've got yourself a future. Gordon likely doesn't want to wait for the future to arrive and wants to win now, frustrated that he was moved from L.A. and the Blake Griffin era in the Chris Paul trade.

Indiana represents a huge temptation for Gordon as both his homestate and where he went to college. He would fit perfectly with the Pacers, and they've long expressed an interest in signing him.

But the Hornets will match. They have to, right?

So why all the dog and pony show?

The free agency period is getting off to a crazy, and curious, start.

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