The Hornets say they've matched the Phoenix Suns' four-year, $58 million offer to Eric Gordon, keeping the restricted free agent guard in New Orleans.
The Hornets hope the 23-year-old Gordon can be the center piece of a rebuilding effort that includes first-overall draft choice Anthony Davis and 10th overall pick Austin Rivers.
Gordon said last week that he hoped to play for Phoenix, but that did not deter New Orleans from retaining his rights.
"There is always a business element to the NBA when dealing with contracts but I never lost my appreciation for the New Orleans fans," said Gordon in a statement released by the Hornets. "I look forward to giving my very best on the court this season to make our team successful."
"Eric is a phenomenal player that we are thrilled to have in our organization," said Hornets GM Dell Demps.
Gordon was limited to nine games last season because of a bruised right knee that required minor surgery. However, he averaged a team-high 20.6 points, and New Orleans was 6-3 when he played.
The Hornets acquired Gordon shortly before last season in a trade that sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers.
(Copyright 2012 by the Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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