Sometimes, NBA trades don’t get to happen because of salary restrictions and not finding the perfect deal. In the case of Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors and Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Hornets, it’s the simple fact that no one around the NBA wants them.
Bargnani, a number one draft pick in 2006 doesn’t have the best contract in the world that makes him hard to ship around – he’s owed $10.75 million next season and $11.5 million for the 2014-2015 year, but with an early termination option. His lack of passion for the game and for life with the Raptors, pretty much saying out loud he doesn’t want to stay there anymore hasn’t won him many fans, and the combination of being a big man who can’t rebound or do well on defense, isn’t too charming to the rest of the league.
For now Bargnani will remain a backup and his value will decrease further if he continues to struggle. He’s averaging 14 points per game and only 3.8 rebounds while spending 30 minutes a night on the floor, although since returning from an injury that kept him off the court for nearly two months, Bargnani isn’t getting much playing time, averaging 7 points over the last 6 games.
Eric Gordon is another player that doesn’t really want to stay with his team – the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, but there isn’t anyone around the league willing to take on his big contract – he’s owed $14.2 million for next season, $14.9 million for 2014-2015 and has a player option worth $15.5 million for 2015-2016. He is scoring 16.6 points per game this season and is usually moving between nights of 24 points followed by single digit performances, struggling to find consistency after a very long injury, seeing him begin the season two months late.
Gordon is also shooting a lot worse than before, making only 40.8% from the field this season compared to hovering around the 45% mark during his time with the Clippers and his nine games last season. He’s putting up shots like he’s the Hornets’ number one guy, but he’s certainly not making them like a #1 player. The Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Suns (who offered him a contract last season as a restricted free agent) are interested in him, but his current deal and the fear of his bad knee having a career-lasting effect on his ability to score is keeping everyone away from him at the moment.