NBA Free Agency: Eric Gordon Chooses Houston Rockets

Nicholas Sciria

After signing Ryan Anderson, the Houston Rockets have reached a four-year, $53 million agreement with free agent Eric Gordon according to The Vertical. Gordon will provide the Rockets with more shooting and playmaking alongside James Harden, and this deal could turn out to be a steal if Gordon is able to avoid injuries. However, Gordon has yet to show that he can stay on the court for a full season, and injuries could continue to haunt his NBA career.

This past season, Gordon shot 38.4 percent from behind the arc and 88.8 percent from the free throw line. His ability to shoot should open up the floor from James Harden, who likes to slash and get to the free throw line. Additionally, Gordon's ability to score (he averaged 16.7 points per 36 minutes this past season according to Basketball-Reference) should also allow Harden to enjoy some time off of the ball in the future. Harden's 32.5 percent usage percentage is one of the highest in the NBA, and Gordon's addition will provide the Rockets with a capable second perimeter option.

However, Houston's offense was not the team's problem this past season. The Rockets ranked No. 8 in points per possession according to ESPN. It was the defensive side of the ball where Houston struggled, ranking No. 20 in points per possessions given up. With the addition of Gordon and Ryan Anderson, the Rockets have still yet to address their defensive woes from this past season. Furthermore, D'Antoni's scheme is unlikely to fix these problems, meaning that Houston will likely continue to struggle next year on that end of the floor.

As SB Nation notes, some of Gordon's injury concerns will be less of a concern if Houston limits his minutes next season.

"If he's not counted on to play over 30 minutes a game like he has in the past, there's a chance his body holds up. If it does, his combination of three-point shooting and decent defense would make him a good fit for a team that needs both."

Harden has been one of the best players in the NBA at staying on the court in previous seasons with the Rockets. This past season, Harden played the most minutes in the league according to Basketball-Reference. Harden's ability to take on a heavy offensive workload while avoiding injuries should help the Rockets limit Gordon's minutes. However, it would still be appropriate for Houston to add one more guard to cement Gordon's status in the 30 minutes per game range.

Ultimately, Gordon will provide the Rockets with some needed shooting and offensive firepower if he can stay healthy this season for Houston. However, if the Rockets fail to address their defensive issues, an early round exit in the playoffs will be likely.

[Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]

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