14 July 2012
To the surprise of no one, the New Orleans Hornets matched the Phoenix Suns max offer on Eric Gordon on Saturday afternoon meaning that the shooting guard will stay in the Big Easy at least for the time being. It also means that the Suns still have a huge hole at the shooting guard position which has existed ever since Jason Richardson was dealt to Orlando a few years back.
The remaining options left available on the market are no where close to Gordon's skill and overall talent level, but they can still help the Suns win games next season and well into the future.
Phoenix could stay with in-house options in Shannon Brown and Michael Redd. The younger Brown set career highs in pretty much every single statistical category in his first season in the Valley. Redd, who was healthy for the first time in essentially four years, started off slow, but really came on as the season wore on. Neither of the two would exactly excite a lot of fans though and wouldn't necessarily make the team better.
With money to spend and in need of making a big splash, the Suns will more than likely look elsewhere to address the two guard position with the two biggest names at the time being O.J. Mayo and Courtney Lee. Mayo was in Phoenix on Friday visiting with the Suns front office and it remains to be seen whether Lee will do the same.
Mayo will command more money than Lee on a multi-year deal being that the former USC guard is two years younger and has had a much better career so far in the league. The Suns front office did like Lee back when he was drafted during the 2008 draft and I certainly wouldn't be shocked if they went with the cheaper route in order to maintain at least some payroll flexibility.
With Mayo now the best free agent left on the market, the Suns will have to make a decision quick as other teams across the league will try to swoop in and grab him. Will they go with the more expensive route in Mayo or will they save a million or two per year and sign Lee? Stay tuned.
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