Hornets match Suns offer sheet for Eric Gordon

It took the entire three days that the New Orleans Hornets had to maintain the rights to Eric Gordon but finally on Saturday the Suns offer sheet for the guard out of Indiana was matched.Β 

“We have been notified that the New Orleans Hornets have matched our offer sheet with Eric Gordon, as is their right under the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” said Suns President of basketball operations Lon Babby. “While we are disappointed that Eric will not be a Sun at this time, we have no regrets in doing all that we could under the rules to bring him to Phoenix.”

Now by rule the Suns will not even have the opportunity to at acquire Gordon via trade until January 15, 2013 at the earliest if they wanted to according to the NBA collective bargaining agreement. However, Gordon can be traded to any other team.

Now that the Gordon situation is behind the Suns, it gives them the ability to officially sign free agents Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley. And it seems they will not stop there.

Babby mentioned last Wednesday that if the Gordon deal does not work in their favor, a contingency plan could be in place. Free agent O.J. Mayo was in Phoenix on Friday meeting with the Suns. Reports have also linked Courtney Lee to the Suns as a possible acquisition as well.

“Once Eric passes his physical in New Orleans, our full cap room will be restored and we will move forward in free agency,” Babby said. “In the meantime, we are on track to pursue our plans.”

More news from the Suns this weekend, the summer league begins its first action on Sunday at 1:00 pm local time against the New York Knicks from Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. The game will be broadcasted live on NBATV.

For more on the Suns, follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.