Last offseason Ben Gordon reached an agreement to play for the Detroit Pistons for the next 5 years.He signed a lucrative $58 million contract for the next 5 years,despite no other team expressed any serious interest.Gordon averaged a career high 20.7 points last season for Chicago Bulls, leading the team in scoring for the fourth straight year.Also he had been coming off a fantastic playoff series against the Celtics, in which he averaged a team-high 24.3 points in seven games.
So how is he doing now that he got that big contract he had been demanding for the last 2 years?Let's see:
He is averaging 14.3 points per game which is a career low.Even as a rookie Gordon had 15.1 ppg.In January,when he lost 8 games due to injury, he averaged just 9.2 ppg in 6 games scoring 9,11,20,0(in just 6 min),10 and 5.But in February being healthy he averages 9.7 ppg scoring 7,26,5,18,3,8,6,4,21,11,0(0-4 in 19 minutes!!!),8.
Last year? 20.7ppg,which means he averages 6.4 ppg less this year.
He shoots fg at .425,which tops only his first 2 years.The last 3 years had .455, .434, .455
The most disappointing statistic though is his 3 point shooting.He shoots from the 3pt line at .308,when each of the previous 5 years shot at least .405.
Also he has career lows in rebounds,though no one expects much from him in this area 1,5 rpg is pretty bad,and his assists are down this year.
I understand that this year Ben has had his injuries,which may have affected his play.Also his minutes are down hurting his averages a bit.But still Ben Gordon shouldn't be that bad.His defense is as always bad,so when he doesn't score much,he is not useful at all.It's not coincidence to me that there were rumours at the trading deadline about a potential trade.He is another example of a long list of players having career highs,just before they become free agents,and then next year they relax quite a bit(hello jerome james).His poor 3point shooting proves that he didn't work that much this year.Hopefully next year he returns to form,cause I still like him as a player and a person (though Stan Van Gundy doesn't agree to this as called him a bully recently)and I have some wonderful memories from him,that I will always be grateful.But still to me he will always be a great sixth man like Smith in Denver and Crawford in Atlanta, that is worth not more than the midlevel exception,perhaps around $6-7 millions.
Next year I hope we'll finally have a great sg whether he is Wade or Johnson(LeBron stays in Cleveland anyway),and I don't care if after 4-5 successful years regresses a bit.Ray Allen of course is fading as his great career near the end,but still is better than Gordon in his prime this year.