|The Hornets have matched the Suns' offer for Gordon . (Getty Images)|
Eric Gordon better get used to the beads, beer, and beauty of New Orleans, because he's going to be around a while. The Hornets announced Saturday they have matched the four-year, $58 million offer sheet the Suns signed Gordon to earlier this week.
"We are pleased to announce that we have matched the offer sheet for Eric Gordon. Eric is a phenomenal player that we are thrilled to have in our organization," Hornets general manager Dell Demps said in a press release. "We thank Tom and Gayle Benson for making this possible with their commitment to the team, our fans and the New Orleans Community."
Said Gordon in the release: "There is always a business element to the NBA when dealing with contracts but I never lost my appreciation for the New Orleans fans. I look forward to giving my very best on the court this season to make our team successful."
The Hornets never had any intention to let the one player that held up the Chris Paul trade with the Clippers over New Orleans' insistence on his inclusion walk in free agency. That was never going to happen. They were always going to match any offer for him, and the reason they were so laid back about the approach was their confidence in letting the market establish the shooting guard's worth, allowing them to not rush into any decisions.
This isn't rocket science, and as much as Gordon has fussed about the match, it's business. He will, in fact, have to play basketball in New Orleans.
But interestingly, Monty Williams didn't shut the door on dealing Gordon if he becomes a problem. From the Times-Picayune:
“I just think when you're going through free agency and you're talking about that kind of money, certain things are said and felt,'' Williams said. “At the same time, I'm not going to back off that stance: We want people that want to be here. If you don't want to be here, then we have to make some adjustments.''