PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns made their first big move in free-agency today, agreeing to a 4-year, $58 million offer sheet with free agent guard Eric Gordon.
Despite the fact that the two sides came to an agreement, it doesn't appear likely that Gordon will be in a Suns uniform this season.
Gordon, who played for the New Orleans Hornets after coming over in a trade for Chris Paul last season, is a restricted free-agent, meaning that the Hornets will have an opportunity to match the offer and retain Gordon on their roster.
League sources have already indicated that New Orleans plans to match the offer, despite Gordon saying, "Phoenix is just where my heart is."
Gordon was the key piece the Hornets got back for Paul, and most expected them to match any offer for the 23-year old shooting guard.
Unfortunately for the Suns, under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, once a restricted free-agent is retained by a team, that player cannot be traded for at least one year without the player's consent.
Even with the player consent, the player can not be traded before the later of three months following the date the contract was signed and December 15th of the salary cap year in which the contract was signed. But even with player consent, the player can't be traded to the team that he originally signed the offer sheet with," according to the collective bargaining agreement.
Long story short, while the signing is most definitely a big one for Phoenix, unless the New Orleans front office has a change of heart, Gordon will be in a Hornets uniform when the season begins.
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