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The NBA Trade Machine Sends Aaron Gordon Packing
A hamstring injury ended Aaron Gordon’s season prematurely, costing him an opportunity to participate in Orlando’s final nine games. However, was removing Gordon from the bubble early a precursor of what’s to come?
The Magic are locked into paying Nikola Vucevic top-dollar through 2023, and they’re ready to introduce 2019 first-round pick, Chuma Okeke. Chuma missed his entire rookie season recovering from a torn ACL, but he plays the same position as Gordon and offers more upside.
Don’t forget, Jonathan Isaac is another young and intriguing hybrid forward on Orlando’s roster who will be back sometime in 2021.
With this in mind, let’s look at some potential Aaron Gordon trades using the NBA trade machine.
Maybe John Hammond will even take notice.
Is Gordon for Green a Fair Exchange?
According to John Hollinger – current Senior NBA columnist at The Athletic and the man behind the player efficiency ratings (PER) on ESPN – he thinks Aaron Gordon for Draymond Green is a pretty even swap.
The money works, and so do their styles of play in their potential new cities.
Gordon fits the bill of an athletic forward who can get up-down-the court and finish at the rim with authority.
Aaron excels transition and would likely blossom playing alongside Andrew Wiggins and the Splash Brothers.
Draymond was exposed in Golden State playing without superior talent, but plugging him Orlando is perhaps the change of scenery he needs. Also worth noting, Green’s pass-first mentality would enable Steve Clifford to unleash Markelle Fultz as a scorer.
Tailor-Made For Steve Nash’s System
We don’t know exactly what Steve Nash’s system is going to look like in Brooklyn, but it’s not difficult to forecast. Nash was the catalyst for teams that played at a fast pace and scored a bunch of points.
Considering he’s got Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on his roster, expect the Nets to be pushing the ball up the court at will. This makes adding someone like Aaron Gordon a match made in heaven for what Nash wants to accomplish.
Spencer Dinwiddie is too talented of a point guard to play second fiddle to Kyrie, and the current landscape of Brooklyn’s depth chart lacks quality frontcourt players. The great part about this potential Aaron Gordon trade is that it makes sense for both franchises involved.
Reunited in the Grand Canyon State
Aaron Gordon was a standout athlete at the University of Arizona, so we know he’s comfortable playing ball in the desert.
After Kelly Oubre’s latest scandalous activities, it might be in the Suns best interest to send him on his way. Keep in mind – the Suns went 8-0 during the bubble without Kelly’s services. Here’s a chance for Monty Williams to bring that red-hot lineup back – with the addition of a gifted player who can play either forward position.
One thing about Phoenix is clear – and that’s that they are building around Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. Trading for Aaron Gordon might not qualify as the “final piece to the puzzle,” but think of it as one of the corner pieces puts you on track for the finish line.
Would Gordon + the 15th Pick Be Enough For LaVine?
The growth of Markelle Fultz can be expedited if John Hammond gets Markelle some help in the backcourt. How about trading for a guy who averaged 25.5 points per game in 2019-20?
Orlando ranked among the worst teams in the league offensively this past season (27th in FG %, 24th in PPG). They especially need help on the perimeter. Well, Zach LaVine can score from anywhere on the court and represents instant offense.
Why not send Aaron Gordon and the 15th pick in the 2020 Draft for a fiery competitor who fills a glaring need in your lineup?
The Bulls could then package #15 with #4 and perhaps move up to the first or second slot. Not a bad way for Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to start their tenure in the Windy City.
Orlando Snags a Couple of Veterans
Orlando’s roster is littered with young talent. What’s missing are proven commodities who have “been there and done that.”
Enter LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills.
Aldridge is 35 years old and on the back end of his career. Pairing him with a stud like Nikola Vucevic lessens the burden of Aldridge having to play well every night. Mills finds himself lost on the Spurs depth chart behind Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Bryn Forbes. However, the Aussie PG could be the perfect mentor in Orlando to ensure that Markelle Fultz stays on a bright trajectory.
Both LaMarcus and Patty will become unrestricted free agents at the end of next season.
Here’s a golden opportunity for R.C. Buford to salvage those contracts by recouping a couple of nice pieces from the Magic.