Are Warriors, Magic Working On Aaron Gordon Trade?

Are Warriors, Magic Working On Aaron Gordon Trade?

The Golden State Warriors are preparing for a big year. This past season was a lost cause due to injuries sustained by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but both are expected back healthy in 2020-21.

Although Kevin Durant is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, even without him this Warriors group won one championship and came within a Draymond Green low blow of another.

Currently, most sports books list Golden State behind the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in 2021 NBA Title odds. Can the Warriors do anything to improve their chances? Adding a bit of talent could help.

According to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, a possible deal between the Warriors and Orlando Magic centering around forward Aaron Gordon is something worth keeping an eye on.

“Gordon, who will fit right into Golden State’s switch-heavy defense, has flashed a league-average shot on an Orlando team with no spacing whatsoever, and has at least enough on-ball chops to make defenses sweat as a fourth option,” Quinn notes.

“Such versatile forwards are rare. Gordon may not be the star Golden State is hoping for, but he’s the player that makes the most sense on the trade market given what they have to offer. The deal will be agreed to in advance but held officially until after the Warriors sign the No. 2 overall pick so that his salary can count in the trade.

“That allows them to keep both Andrew Wiggins and the hefty trade exception they acquired for Andre Iguodala, which they could then use in a separate deal.”

Gordon is an intriguing player. He is extremely athletically gifted and has a ton of talent, but consistently underperforms whenever you expect him to take the next step. He is also in the midst of a four year, $84 million contract he signed as an unrestricted free agent back in 2018.

That is a big reason why the Magic have given serious consideration to unloading him.

“[They] were really trying to deal him before the deadline, but they weren’t getting the assets back they wanted,” an Eastern Conference executive told Forbes writer Sean Deveney earlier this year.

Gordon is coming off his worst offensive campaign since 2016. He averaged just 14.4 points on 43.7 percent shooting, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

The 25-year-old also shot just 30.8 percent from beyond the arc this year, after shooting 33.6 percent and 34.9 percent over the two prior years.

Everything about Gordon’s game – when he is playing well – screams 20 and 10, but he has yet to deliver on that promise.

The nice thing about Gordon’s contract is that it was frontloaded. After getting paid $21.59 million in 2018-19 and then $19.86 million in 2019-20, he is owed $18.13 million in 2020-21 and $16.4 million in 2021-22. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

That means if the Warriors do decide to pull the trigger on this deal, they will be getting far better return on their investment with the remaining years on Gordon’s deal than Orlando did.

Obviously it remains to be seen if the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s historically weak draft will ultimately be enough to pry Gordon away from the Magic, but if it is, then this is a trade that could work decently well for all parties involved.

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Jennifer Withers Hoey

Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.

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