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Waiting Out a Slump

One of the readers of my weekly waiver wire column asked if he should target Nate Robinson, Eric Gordon or D.J. Augustin in a trade. My answer was that all three players have value, but Robinson was the one I liked best for immediate return.

Another reader was quick to chime in, saying Robinson is in an awful slump, while Gordon has been lighting it up since the move to the starting lineup. And he's absolutely right -- little Nate is shooting just .327 from the floor and a ghastly .133 from three over his last ten games, while Gordon has posted 20-plus points per game over the same stretch.

So why Robinson over Gordon?

I think Robinson's skill level is a known commodity. Sure, he's in a slump -- it happens. But he's a career 42% shooter, 35% from three, and he's a key member of Mike D'Antoni's high-octane rotation. He didn't lose his ability to shoot -- he's just going through a slump, and that slump could end at any time.

Gordon, on the other hand, is riding a hot streak, and showing the sort of talent that made him a lottery selection. But his recent run has also come with Baron Davis -- and Zach Randolph -- on the shelf.

Is it reasonable to expect Gordon's scoring to drop off once the Clippers are at full strength?

I think so.

Is it reasonable to expect Robinson's shot to start falling again at his established career rates?

I think so.

Reasonable people can disagree on this... but I'd much rather grab a slumping player and profit from his return to normal production levels than get a guy on a hot streak and watch him fall back to earth. To me, Robinson seems like a better buy right now, while Gordon is a potential "sell high" candidate.

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