NEW ORLEANS The Hornets extended a qualifying offer to guard Eric Gordon on Thursday, officially making the fourth-year player a restricted free agent.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
New Orleans now puts the ball in the rest of the NBA's hands; the Hornets can match any offer Gordon receives, which would keep him in New Orleans.
Gordon averaged a team-leading 20.6 point this past season, though played only nine games after spending much of the season sidelined with a knee injury. He also averaged 3.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
New Orleans is hoping to pair Gordon with expected No. 1 pick Anthony Davis.