With the NBA trade deadline just a few days away, it looks like the Orlando Magic might be forced to move star forward Aaron Gordon.
We’ve read rumors that Orlando could potentially go into fire sale mode. Rumors suggesting that Gordon could be on the block have also persisted for over the past calendar year. There’s a good reason for this. The former top-five pick has reportedly requested to be dealt.
“Aaron Gordon is ready for a relocation, as sources tell The Athletic that he asked Orlando Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman for a trade through his representative in February,” Jared Weiss and Sam Amick of The Athletic noted.
Orlando currently boasts the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference at 14-28. The team is going nowhere fast. Trading Aaron Gordon could help the Magic expedite what promises to be a long-term rebuild.
Still only 25 years old, the asking price for Gordon is said to be two first-round picks. Given his all-around play, it seems to be a fair demand. Despite not necessarily fitting in head coach Steve Clifford’s system, Gordon continues to play at a high level.
Thus far this season, the 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 14.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists on 40% shooting from distance. He’s also seen as a plus-level defender who can guard multiple positions.
Shams Charania of The Athletic points to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers as potential landing spots for Gordon. Meanwhile, the Northern California native has also been linked to the Golden State Warriors.
The Houston trade scenario is interesting in that it would involve Victor Oladipo being dealt from the Rockets to a third team ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Despite being in the midst of a 20-game losing streak, Houston views Gordon as part of its long-term future in the post James Harden era.
It’s also rather interesting that Minnesota would be interested in Aaron Gordon. The Timberwolves currently boast the worst record in the NBA at 10-32. Front office head Gersson Rosas views the forward as a running partner to go with Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt.
The Celtics’ inclusion can’t be considered too much of a surprise. They have struggled to a 21-21 start to the season. It’s long been expected that Danny Ainge will be active. He’s now apparently facing a ton of pressure to do something.
“Sources say the Celtics, whose significant struggles this season appear to have increased the pressure to add another impactful player in time for the playoff push, have been among the teams engaged with the Magic about a possible Gordon deal,” Weiss and Amick noted.
As for the Warriors, they view Gordon as a younger and more athletic Draymond Green. He has shown the skillset to fill that role moving forward. While Golden State is expected to be active, the asking price of two first-round picks might be seen as too steep.
After all, general manager Bob Myers and Co. are not parting with the valuable Minnesota Timberwolves’ future first-round pick without adding a generational talent. Despite his success, Aaron Gordon can’t be viewed through that lens.
It’s one of the major stories to watch as the NBA trade deadline approaches.