Eric Gordon remains a central figure in the Hornets' long term plans, even though he turned down a four-year extension offer from the club, New Orleans general manager Dell Demps said.

"It's a situation where we talked, thought we came close to an agreement and it just didn't work out, but we are still very optimistic we can get something done this summer," Demps said. "It's not a big issue. It's not a situation that is uncommon. ... There are other measures that you can use to sign Eric to a long-term contract and that's our goal."

The Hornets currently are owned by the NBA, meaning commissioner David Stern, who is temporarily acting in the role of team owner, had the final say in what kind of deal the Hornets could offer Gordon.

"We were authorized to make a deal, we had conversations that were productive, and although we didn't come to an agreement, the talks were amicable," Demps said.