Houston Rockets almost traded Eric Gordon to Philadelphia 76ers and rejected 1st round pick offers

The Houston Rockets are focused on the long-term future with an emphasis on building through the NBA draft. Capitalizing on the business value of older veteran players in exchange for more draft capital is an effective way to continue these efforts.

After the Rockets traded Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks, the focus shifted to the possibility of Eric Gordon being moved to the top of the NBA draft. Many teams attempted to complete a trade, but no deal came to fruition.

According Athleticism, the Philadelphia 76ers nearly traded for Gordon on draft night. The Rockets even received trade offers that included a first-round pick from teams such as the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns.

The 76ers again attempted to trade for Gordon early in free agency, but again no deal was reached. The Rockets have the luxury of being patient and waiting for other teams to prioritize his acquisition in a trade with a stronger offer.

Another team that continues to be linked with Gordon is the Los Angeles Lakers as a backup plan if they can’t acquire Kyrie Irving. There are growing expectations that Los Angeles will end up with Irving in some sort of three-team trade, but regardless, no deal has yet been reached.

The 76ers’ interest is natural considering their front office is headed by former Rockets president of basketball operations Daryl Morey. Gordon already has extensive experience playing alongside James Harden in high-stakes moments.

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Gordon had a strong 2021-22 season for the Rockets. He appeared in 57 games and averaged 13.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists. His scoring average was tied for the lowest of his NBA career, but his efficiency was greatly improved.

Gordon bounced back significantly in the perimeter shooting department, in particular. He increased his percentage by 3 points to 41.2% after shooting below the 33.0% mark in consecutive campaigns.

It remains to be seen when Gordon will be traded, but considering he turns 34 in the upcoming season, he remains a trade candidate to watch. If there are no satisfactory deals, his veteran presence may continue to be appreciated in Houston.

You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at @GrantAfseth.

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