There’s little doubt that, ahead of last week’s NBA trading deadline, the Magic were beating the bushes to see what could be brought back in a trade for forward Aaron Gordon. Golden State was among the teams with whom the Magic discussed a Gordon trade. So were the Timberwolves. Those two wound up making the most significant trade of the deadline period, swapping D’Angelo Russell for Andrew Wiggins. Orlando had been interested in Russell last summer when he was a restricted free agent.
There was chatter, too, involving the Suns. But Gordon, the No. 4 pick of the 2014 draft, is still with the Magic. Perhaps not for long — executives around the league expect that Gordon will be back on the trade block in the offseason, too.
As one source told Heavy.com, “They were trying, and they tried hard to get something done with him at the deadline. All that gets brought back into focus once the season is over and you have a good idea what the market is for him.” Gordon has not been clamoring for a trade—he’s happy in Orlando—but he does not have a smooth fit with the Magic and where the team is headed in the future.
The Orlando Magic currently are in the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and are seven games under .500. The fit of Aaron Gordon with the franchise has been a question for some time now. "Aaron Gordon is a player they've had some discussions about," said Adrian Wojnarowski. "I think t's a tricky one to trade him right now."
The Orlando Magic have reportedly discussed trading forward Aaron Gordon ahead of Thursday's deadline, but a deal is "tricky" because of injuries on the roster. "Aaron Gordon's a player they've had some discussions about," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on his podcast with Bobby Marks. "I think it's a tricky one to trade him now, with the season-ending injuries to Jonathan Isaac, to Al-Farouq Aminu. ... If you're going to move Gordon and you want to try to stick around in the playoff chase...you've got to get back a significant amount.
One team that makes sense for Gordon is Minnesota, which called Orlando about Gordon this season, according to league sources. It’s unclear what precisely was offered, but Minnesota is shopping Robert Covington. Just imagine Gordon rolling down the lane, then kicking it out to Karl-Anthony Towns, who could shoot a 3 or attack the closeout. The Wolves don’t have a true playmaker, but they could acquire one in Gordon.
The rumblings persist that Orlando might move on from Gordon, who signed a four-year, $76 million deal in July 2018 but who has regressed this season. As our Magic beat writer, Josh Robbins, wrote, the recent knee injury to big man Jonathan Isaac could change this landscape a bit (he’ll be re-evaluated in seven weeks). But long-term, Orlando’s front office of John Hammond and Jeff Weltman must decide whether Isaac and Gordon have too much duplication in their games. “There is chatter coming from Orlando,” one executive shared on Wednesday.
What about Gordon, who has two more full seasons on his contract, valued at $18.1 million in 2020-21 and $16.4 million in 2021-22? Because Gordon and Isaac are best suited to play the same position, power forward, many NBA insiders question Gordon’s long-term fit. But Friday, Gordon and his teammates offered a tantalizing glimpse of what they might be able to accomplish together — if, that is, they continue to play with the same tenacity on defense and the same attention to detail.
Multiple teams are monitoring Magic forward Aaron Gordon with interest should an opportunity present itself, but the Magic have shown no interest in moving him, sources said. Orlando is 4-7 and working to turn the corner early this season. Gordon signed a four-year, $76 million deal to return to the Magic in 2018.
The Pacers discussed a deal with him going to the Orlando Magic before the deadline, according to league sources, as they had strong interest in Aaron Gordon. The Magic pivoted, however, to acquire Markelle Fultz from Philadelphia and kept Gordon. The Pacers have also talked to the Atlanta Hawks about moving up eight spots Thursday to No. 10 but Holiday was requested in such a swap to bolster the Hawks' backcourt behind Trae Young and that discussion didn’t go anywhere, a league source said.
The Blazers love Al-Farouq Aminu. They would aim to keep him. Aminu fits best at power forward -- Gordon's position. Then again, is there really a difference between a Maurice Harkless-Aminu forward combination and a Gordon-Aminu pairing? What about the Spurs (more on them later)? Dallas investigated Gordon's availability before the Porzingis deal, sources have said.
The Magic have not shown any signs they are willing to trade Gordon, either, sources said. At 23 years old, Gordon has become a more efficient player under new coach Steve Clifford. In addition, the Magic are intent on pairing Gordon with Isaac in the lineup, as they have most of this season, to see how successful they can be together.
The growing concern over max deals has created a ripple effect heading into the trade deadline. Execs and agents I spoke to believe it explains the rise in trade chatter involving stars. Teams are more regularly gauging the value of their own centerpieces, and other teams are making more calls knowing they’ll listen. It’s why we’re hearing reports about Aaron Gordon and Kemba Walker being available.
The new regime of Jeff Weltman and John Hammond has left no stone unturned with the deadline approaching, including quietly gauging the trade market on Aaron Gordon, league sources told The Athletic.
The photo surfaced on Twitter on Monday after the Magic signed Patricio Garino out of the D-League. Garino’s agent took a picture of his client signing the contract. In the background, a wall-mounted dry-erase board listed potential Magic off-season trade and free-agency targets. The column devoted to trade targets included Saric’s last name and “for AG?” in parentheses next to Saric’s last name. “Typically, with rumors and stuff like that, we don’t really address them,” Vogel said today when asked about the photo. “But this is a unique situation, and I talked to him a little bit this morning, and everybody’s good. We’re ready to move on.”
“It’s ok,” Saric said after seeing a photo of the whiteboard. “Every team got rights to think about their future, to put it on board. But to comment, I don’t have something. It’s ok. To me, you are doing good if they have you on [their] mind like an option.” The irony is that Magic once had the rights to Saric. In the 2014 draft, the Sixers used the 10th overall pick on Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton. Two picks later, the Magic drafted Saric. Then the Sixers traded Payton to the Magic for Saric, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2015 second-round selection.
Saric, who grew up in Croatia, played the past two seasons in Turkey before signing with the Sixers in the summer of 2016. He is a leading candidate to win the rookie-of-the-year award. “They trade me," Saric said of the Magic. "That’s life. … Sometimes you can have some option in life, you choose another one. They chose one way. I chose my own way.”
David Baumann: *EXCLUSIVE* Source: Orlando Magic recently offered Vucevic & Aaron Gordon for Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin (other assets involved). Offer denied.
Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Mario Hezonja, Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton and Nik Vucevic aren’t going anywhere. The Orlando Magic will not trade any member of their young nucleus before this season’s NBA trade deadline expires on Thursday afternoon, general manager Rob Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel tonight.
August 12, 2022 | 4:09 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent center Willie Cauley-Stein has agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Cauley-Stein will compete for a roster spot in training camp.
Luka Doncic was ready to go but with him resting in the closing minutes, Goran Dragic had to be Batman again. The captain of the Slovenian national team made a big three that decided the 104-103 overtime win over Turkey in Istanbul.
It was only a prep game as the two teams are preparing for the upcoming Eurobasket and the FIBA World Cup, but it will be remembered. Dragic finished the night with 28 points and the winning three, while Doncic had 23 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in 27 minutes of action. He didn’t play in the overtime.
NBA star guard and Raleigh native John Wall is hosting a series of events this week to honor his late mother. With the Los Angeles Clippers guard in attendance, the John Wall Family Foundation hosted a back-to-school event Thursday morning at Durant Road Elementary School. The foundation will help the Durant Road Elementary students throughout the school year. On Thursday, Wall’s foundation presented a check for $11,200 to the the Salvation Army of Wake County Red Shield Club of Raleigh for summer day camp scholarships.
Kids ages 8-18 will get a chance next week to receive face-to-face pointers from an NBA player who grew up in Lowell. The Terance Mann Complete Player Basketball Camp will be held Aug. 15-18 at The Mill Works, 22 Town Farm Road, Westford. The hours of the camp are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, Monday to Thursday.
August 12, 2022 | 2:38 pm EDT Update
The Russell Westbrook situation does seem a little more interesting, at least in the sense that the Lakers might have more control than they do in talks with James. The team, after all, could always add more stuff to any trade offers in an effort to unload Westbrook. And depending on what the expectations are in return, they could simply just keep piling on the limited trade assets that they have (pick swaps, second-round picks, etc.). So far, that’s a road the Lakers haven’t seriously taken, Rob Pelinka surprising plenty of folks around the NBA with his hesitancy to attach multiple draft picks with Westbrook in trade talks.