- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 4, 2012

PHOENIX (AP) - Restricted free agent guard Eric Gordon has agreed to a four-year deal with the Phoenix Suns worth about $58 million, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The New Orleans Hornets have the right to match the deal and keep Gordon.

Gordon was in Phoenix on Tuesday, meeting with the Suns‘ front office. The agreement to the offer sheet was confirmed by a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because free agent acquisitions can’t be revealed publicly until next week, according to NBA rules.

The Suns also have had meetings this week with forward Michael Beasley and guard Goran Dragic as they prepare for life after Steve Nash.

There have been several sign-and-trade speculations regarding Nash, who is an unrestricted free agent who seems ever more unlikely to return to Phoenix.

The agreement with Gordon first was reported Tuesday night by The Arizona Republic and ESPN.

Gordon, given a huge welcome by Suns employees, told the Republic after his meeting with the Suns that “Phoenix is where my heart is now” and he hoped the Hornets would not match the offer. The Suns can sign Gordon to the offer sheet on July 11 and New Orleans would have three days to match.

Gordon, 23, played the first of his four NBA season with the Los Angeles Clippers after being the seventh pick overall out of Indiana in 2008. He came to the Hornets before the start of last season as part of the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Clippers.

The sharpshooter has a career scoring average of 18.2 points per game, topped by 22.3 in 2010-11. He missed all but nine games of last season with an injury to his right knee that required arthroscopic surgery.

The meetings with Beasley and Dragic, a former Sun traded by Phoenix to Houston, highlight the team’s search for a starting point guard ahead of first-round draft pick Kendall Hunter.

While Nash is a free agent, the only way several would-be suitors, including the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, would only be able to afford him would be to arrange a sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix.

Nash reportedly has received a lucrative offer to go to his native Canada and play for the Toronto Raptors.

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