Published January 26, 2012
NEW ORLEANS – Guard Eric Gordon has turned down a four-year extension offer from the New Orleans Hornets, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The person, who spoke to The Associated Press late Wednesday night on condition of anonymity because negotiations had not been discussed publicly, didn't disclose the financial terms of New Orleans' offer.
Gordon, who turned 23 last month, came to New Orleans as a key component of a multiplayer trade shortly before the regular season that sent four-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers. Under NBA rules, the Hornets had until midnight Wednesday to come to terms with Gordon on an extension in order to prevent him from becoming a restricted free agent after this season.
Because of his bruised right knee, Gordon has played in only two games this season, including New Orleans' season opener, when he hit the winning shot to cap a 20-point outing in Phoenix. He bruised his right knee in that game and attempted a comeback on Jan. 4, when he scored 22 points in a loss to Philadelphia.
Speaking shortly before the Hornets saw their season-long losing streak reach nine games with a 101-91 setback in Oklahoma City, Hornets coach Monty Williams said Gordon is expected to sit out at least three more weeks.
"We will re-evaluate after that time," Williams said. "Doctors think he needs more time. It's prudent for us as an organization is to make sure he's right before he comes back."
Gordon averaged 22.3 points last season, his third as a pro since being selected seventh overall out of Indiana in the 2008 NBA draft.
The Hornets are 1-1 in games Gordon has played and 2-14 in games he has missed. While New Orleans has played solid enough defense to remain competitive in most of its games, playing without Gordon's scoring punch has hurt in crunch time. Of New Orleans' 15 losses, 10 have come by single digits, including three-straight two-point defeats before the 10-point loss to the Western Conference-leading Thunder.