Talks fell through on both sides, sources said, and more discussions are not expected after the Celtics rejected an unknown counteroffer.
May 31, 2023 | 5:48 pm EDT Update
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Aaron Gordon was an obvious answer, but one with a crowded path to that outcome. Gordon stood as one of the biggest attractions of that 2021 deadline, with the Magic deciding to tear down a core that featured Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier. Gordon had also requested a trade from Orlando, league sources told Yahoo Sports, with a large pool of teams, including Portland, Minnesota, Boston and Houston, pursuing his services from the Magic.
Aaron Gordon had a known fan in Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard. The Timberwolves were kicking around potential frontcourt fits next to Karl-Anthony Towns. The Celtics were high on Gordon dating back to his own entry into the 2014 draft. The Nuggets, though, were able to include Hampton, an uber-athletic guard whom Orlando, sources said, had strongly considered selecting the previous year, when the Magic ultimately drafted Cole Anthony No. 15 in November 2020.
A dearth of wing depth, though, revealed itself to Denver’s decision-makers in Jamal Murray’s absence. And as the 2022 trade deadline approached, the Nuggets discussed a three-team deal with the Wizards and Thunder, league sources told Yahoo Sports, which would have landed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Denver. The framework, however, fell apart.
This time, Booth surrendered Morris, breaking a promise to him to give Caldwell-Pope and Denver at large another chance to compete for a banner. Booth had a specific vision for the offensive weapons he wanted at Jokić’s disposal. “You have to have positionless guys, guys who can contain the ball and make shots,” Booth told Yahoo Sports. “Everybody wants two-way players, but [Jokić] likes to play with guys who know how to play basketball the right way.”