With the second-worst record in the East, the Orlando Magic should be a seller approaching next week’s trade deadline. To that end, Aaron Gordon has lingered as a trade target for multiple teams. Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported the Magic are taking calls about Gordon, with the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves among the teams showing interest. Rumors of Minnesota’s interest, in particular, aren’t new.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported Gordon was nearly traded twice this season, to the Timberwolves and to the Brooklyn Nets. He also added the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks to the list of suitors.
Gordon recently returned from a lengthy due to a left ankle injury. He played 14 minutes in Orlando’s first game coming out the All-Star break. He has sat out the two games since though. Injury management was put out there, with the first game the second of a back-to-back. Sitting him could also be an outright effort to tank. Or it could be a preservation of Gordon’s trade value. An injury aggravation would take that value away, especially as interest ramps up. When it comes down to it, Gordon might be Orlando’s most valuable trade chip.
Wait, Aaron Gordon is still only how old?
Now in his seventh NBA season, Gordon is still just 25 years old. At this point, he may never become the star he seemed set to be. But he can legitimately guard all five positions on the floor capably, which is a start. With better players around him, his offensive game could be unlocked. Orlando routinely comes in near the bottom of the league in offensive rating, and toward the bottom in pace. Better spacing and faster pace would seem ideal for Gordon.
Counting the elevation of James Borrego to interim coach after Jacque Vaughn was fired during his rookie season, Orlando has had five head coaches during Gordon’s career. That lack of continuity hasn’t helped much of anyone reach their full potential in Orlando.
Gordon remains an interesting player, with possible untapped potential. So it makes sense multiple teams are interested, and some are particularly intriguing if he lands with them. A favorable contract, with declining salaries and one full year left, also adds to Gordon’s appeal as teams apparently line up to try and get him.