NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Hornets have made a qualifying offer to Eric Gordon, formally making the prolific shooting guard a restricted free agent.
The move, which allows New Orleans to match any offer the Gordon receives from another team, was expected. The Hornets have stated previously that they intend to re-sign the 24-year-old guard and build around him.
“Eric Gordon is going to be the leader of our team next year. ... We intend to sign him this summer,” General Manager Dell Demps said Thursday night.
Gordon was limited to only nine games last season because of a bruised right knee that required minor surgery.
He averaged a team-high 20.6 points, and New Orleans was 6-3 when he played. Gordon led New Orleans in scoring in eight of the nine games in which he played.