Report: Sixers still trying to acquire Eric Gordon after trading with De’Anthony Melton

The Sixers made a quality trade during the 2022 NBA draft, sending Danny Green and their 23rd overall pick for De’Anthony Melton to the Grizzlies, and they’re not done exploring their trade options just yet.

The Sixers are still interested in pursuing Rockets guard Eric Gordon, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. “Sources say Sixers basketball division president Daryl Morey is still trying to acquire Gordon, despite being unsuccessful Thursday night,” Pompey said.

Gordon would certainly help the Sixers. He’s an able guard defender when engaged, a strong driver who provides extra hits downhill, and a high-volume three-point shooter with the kind of quick trigger that would complement the Sixers’ stars when operating off the ball. Gordon’s three-point percentages have been a little up and down year-on-year, but he’s still shot 36.1 percent from deep on an impressive 8.1 attempts per game over the past six seasons.

However, having acquired a strong two-way guard at Melton at 6ft 2, the Sixers have far less need of another smaller guard (Gordon is only 6ft 3). Philly’s lead guard game is already done with James Harden and Tyrese Maxey while Melton is their new top option off the bench who can also play alongside Harden and Maxey at times – Melton is long and can play slightly over his height and acts well off the ball with his shot.

Gordon isn’t as important in this mix of guards, while the team’s lack of wing size, defense, rebounds, and overall versatility tend to be more of an issue. Who will start at the small forward is still a question – will the Sixers really keep and start Matisse Thybulle or look elsewhere in the trade/free agent market for another option?

Aside from the questions of roster suitability and necessity, it would now be more difficult to financially pull off a Gordon trade. To take on 33-year-old Gordon and his $19.5 million salary for next season (he’s also signed for 2023-24 for $20.9 million), the Sixers would need one of their hefty salaries postpone, which would likely mean she’d have to act Tobias Harris. There has been a lot of fuss over the Sixers’ trading interest in Harris and others, including Thybulle, but there would still need to be some key moving parts and possibly several other teams involved to make it all work.

Considering that Gordon is less needed now and it won’t be as easy to acquire him without the option of including Danny Green’s $10 million salary in any trades, this acquisition definitely feels less likely ( and necessary) on as before draft.

Whether or not something as significant happens, Daryl Morey and the Sixers appear to remain actively pursuing upgrades. While we’re seeing mostly small signings for free agencies to make up for the team’s lack of wing depth, more moves are coming.