As recently as last offseason, the New Orleans Hornets traded away a star because he said he did not want to be there.
It's the team's decision to part with Chris Paul that has ESPN NBA insider Ric Bucher thinking they'll ultimately do the same with Eric Gordon.
Score one for Phoenix. Maybe.
"They recognize that they don't want to have a guy there that doesn't want to be there," Bucher told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Monday. "That said, they are rebuilding this team, they paid a hefty price to get Eric Gordon, and he's an asset."
Which is why, Bucher said, while the Hornets have maintained that they will match the offer sheet Gordon is set to sign with Phoenix, he believes the budding star will end up with the Suns.
"I don't believe, when all is said and done, that they're going to be opposed to trading him, doing a sign-and-trade to Phoenix with Eric Gordon, but they're going to want to get something back for it."
If that's the case, it's interesting to speculate who the Suns might have to part with to land a player of Gordon's caliber. Would rookie Kendall Marshall have to be involved? How about second-year pro Markieff Morris? Or maybe, possibly, someone like Jared Dudley?
No matter who would be sent to New Orleans, one would have to figure some draft picks (perhaps the ones arriving from Los Angeles) will be involved.
Bucher didn't say what the pieces in a trade would be, but added that this isn't a case of Gordon agreeing to a deal with the Suns solely to get the Hornets to offer more money. Injuries kept Gordon out of all but nine games, and it's likely he did not get a good enough feel -- or a good feel, really -- about the organization.
"It is genuine, from what I know, that Gordon doesn't want to be in New Orleans," he said. "He does want to be in Phoenix."