Charlotte Hornets

NBA Rumors: Ben Gordon-Mike Dunlap Spat Must Lead to Deadline Deal

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 11:  Ben Gordon #8 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 11, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Mike MoraitisAnalyst IFebruary 15, 2013

A recent spat between Ben Gordon and Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap at a morning shootaround has made trading the veteran guard an absolute necessity before the NBA trade deadline passes.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the incident occurred at the team's shootaround on Monday morning before beating the Boston Celtics later that night.

Here's what happened:

As Dunlap led the Bobcats in a morning shootaround on Monday before a victory over the Celtics, Gordon refused Dunlap's request to stop bouncing a ball as the coach spoke, sources said. Before long, Gordon began baiting Dunlap, telling him that he needed to "humble himself," sources said.

Gordan refused to give the ball to Dunlap, and eventually tossed it toward a ball rack, sources said.

Per the same report from Wojnarowski, a source said the event was, "beyond disrespectful," but Gordon won't be suspended because it might affect his overall value on the trade market.

Gordon is having a respectable season for the Bobcats off the bench, averaging 12.6 points, 2.2 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game (through 47 games played).

Gordon's name has surfaced in trade rumors involving the Brooklyn Nets during the season with Kris Humphries being the potential return for Charlotte (per Chris Broussard of ESPN). For a team that needs energy on defense and rebounding, this trade would make sense.

After this confrontation with the Bobcats' head coach, the organization must make shipping Gordon out of town a No. 1 priority before Feb. 21 hits.

His incredible lack of respect for the coach is dangerous, considering it could leave a negative impression on some of the team's younger players. Guys in that locker room could look up to the veteran and think that type of behavior is OK.

On top of that, Gordon commands minutes each and every night because he is one of the more high-paid and talented scorers on the roster. As a result, Gordon is taking minutes away from some of the younger players on the team and that will no doubt affect their growth moving forward.

Gordon is not really a great fit on the Bobcats, either. Sure, he can afford Charlotte some scoring punch off the bench, but Gordon is much better suited playing for a team that is close to winning as I'm sure he isn't looking to help rebuild a franchise at this stage of his career.

His ability to come off the bench and spark an offense would be perfect for a team looking for that one player to put it over the top.

Whether it be the Nets they make a deal with or any other team, it really doesn't matter. At this point, the Bobcats need to get whatever they can for Gordon in order to part ways with the unruly player before he rubs off on the rest of the team and ruins whatever chemistry Charlotte has.

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