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New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon opts in for $15.5 million final year of his contract

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METAIRIE, Louisiana — New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon has exercised the final-year option in his contract, which will pay him about $15.5 million next season.

The 26-year-old Gordon, whose decision was announced by the Pelicans on Thursday, could have become a free agent next month under the terms of a four-year, $58 million contract he signed in 2012.

Gordon averaged a career-low 13.4 points in 61 games this season, but his 3-point accuracy of nearly 45 percent was a career best.

The Los Angeles Clippers made Gordon a first-round pick out of Indiana in 2008. Before the 2011-12 season, he was traded to New Orleans in a multiplayer deal involving All-Star point guard Chris Paul.

Over his seven-year career, Gordon has averaged 17.4 points and 3.4 assists.

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