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Eric Gordon gets qualifying offer

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 Gordon receives from another team, was expected. The Hornets previously have stated they intend to re-sign the 24-year-old guard and build around him.

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.