Orlando gains a bit more flexibility as they go from $2.8 million below the luxury tax to $4.6 million. They could gain even more flexibility if they move Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier. This was a haul and a true sell-hightrade to net Carter and two first-round picks for Vucevic. This will give them a lot more flexibility and options to build around Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, and their upcoming lottery pick. Bobby Marks: Fournier has a $17.15M cap hit that will now get adjusted to $17.45M. The $300K increase is a result of 2 sets of bonuses- 2nd rd. of the playoffs and Conf. Finals now being deemed likely (BOS reached both last yr). BOS is $1.6M over the tax and need to open up a roster spot.
Keith Smith: Per a source: Acquiring Evan Fournier doesn't take Boston out of the mix to trade for Aaron Gordon. Celtics and Magic are still engaged in discussions for Gordon.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Magic have moved Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier now -- with Aaron Gordon on deck. Magic will gather significant draft assets today and have young players, Jonathan Isaac and Markele Fultz, under contract long-term.
Marc Stein: Expected to trade both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier in the next three-plus hours, Orlando opens its business with a stunner by ensuring deadline day features a trade involving a current All-Star: Nikola Vucevic to Chicago
Keith Smith: Multiple teams were put on hold on Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier talks over the last hour or so. It was clear Orlando was finalizing the deal with Chicago for Nikola Vuceivc. Those teams now expect Orlando to move Gordon and Fournier and possibly Terrence Ross as well.
In trade talks with the Denver Nuggets, the Magic would prefer Will Barton over Gary Harris in a potential Aaron Gordon deal, league sources told HoopsHype. Barton has a $14.6 million player option for next season while Harris is owed a guaranteed $20.9 million. Orlando also has interest in rookie guard RJ Hampton while Denver is reluctant totrade Bol Bol as part of thetrade package for Gordon.
Keith Smith: Sources indicate the Orlando Magic are engaged in trade talks with several teams for both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier. Interest has also picked up for Khem Birch and James Ennis (both on expiring contracts) as well. It's going to be a very busy day for Orlando up to 3 PM ET.
Gordon remains eager to be traded to Boston, sources tell The Athletic. Gordon also would welcome a deal to Denver or Portland, according to sources, so Boston faces real competition to get a deal done by the NBA trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET Thursday.
The Celtics are reciprocating interest, as sources say they have continued to push forward on a potential Gordon deal with Atlanta and Sacramento looking less likely to move John Collins and Harrison Barnes, respectively, for fair market trade value. As the team fell just a wide-open Daniel Theis 3-pointer short of a 25-point comeback win in Milwaukee on the eve of deadline, it reinforced that they could be a move away from having enough talent to be competitive, if absolutely every single thing breaks right. Yet simultaneously, falling short against good teams has become this Celtics team’s core identity.
Denver remains neck and neck with the Celtics and Gordon would be happy to end up in Dallas alongside Luka Doncic, but all indications from sources across the league are that this will run to Thursday’s buzzer. The Nuggets can build a package around Gary Harris, rookie RJ Hampton and a first-round pick, which is a substantial enough package to make Boston’s desired package of rookie Aaron Nesmith, a first-round pick and a $17 million traded player exception (TPE) the Magic would create sending Gordon into Boston’s Hayward TPE seem untenable. Boston doesn’t seem to have other options, so they may be willing to outbid Denver.
So what possibilities exist for the “over-the-top move” Nelson described? As of Wednesday evening, a league source said Dallas appeared to be out of the running for Orlando forward Aaron Gordon, with lead suitors Boston and Denver both prepared to lay a first-round pick and other assets on the table.
Michael Singer: As I just said on @AltitudeSR, I think there's a strong chance Aaron Gordon gets traded by tomorrow, and if the Nuggets aren't the frontrunners, then they've got as good a chance as any team in the league to land him. Like I've said for more than a week, what's ORL's price?
Roy Parry: Steve Clifford said Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon will play their regular minutes tonight. They're in the starting lineup with Nikola Vucevic, Michael Carter-Williams and Al-Farouq Aminu.
Marc Stein: The Timberwolves remain in the Aaron Gordon trade mix along with well-known suitors such as Boston and Denver, league sources say. Minnesota had what one source termed "serious" trade talks in late January for Orlando's Gordon before a bad ankle sprain sidelined him for a month.
The Wolves had extensive talks with the Magic in late January and there was a belief that progress was being made on a potential deal, according to sources, but Gordon promptly injured his ankle and missed the next 15 games. The injury caused both sides to table discussions. By the time Gordon returned, the Wolves were 8-29 and not fitting Gordon’s desire to join a playoff team.
The bidding on Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon remains active ahead of the trade and the Boston Celtics remain in the mix for his services. A league source confirmed to MassLive.com that the Celtics are offering a first-round pick and a young player to Orlando for the big man, one of Aaron Nesmith or Romeo Langford as a centerpiece of a package for the 25-year-old power forward.
Ryan Ward: According to @SBD, Andre Drummond has the best odds to be trade before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday: - Andre Drummond: -150 - Aaron Gordon: +110 - Victor Oladipo: +125 - Evan Fournier: +150 - LaMarcus Aldridge: +155
The Rockets and the Magic have had serious talks on a potential Gordon deal, league sources said. The precise terms under discussion are not 100 percent clear, but best I can read the tea leaves, Houston would have to send out significant draft compensation -- multiple picks -- as part of any proposed Gordon deal.
And while Gordon would be a welcome addition, a source with knowledge of the situation said there are conflicting views internally when it comes to the price the Nuggets should ultimately be willing to pay. The Celtics, as noted below, are believed to have put two first-round picks on the table as part of a Gordon proposal that also includes them landing Magic guard/free-agent-to-be Evan Fournier.
Kevin O'Connor: I've also heard Portland and Damian Lillard especially want Aaron Gordon on the Blazers.
Josh Robbins: (1/2) After tonight’s Magic loss to Denver, @TheAthleticNBA asked Evan Fournier about how Aaron Gordon’s desire for a trade impacts the locker room. Fournier answered: “I feel like with each other there’s nothing but love and respect. Aaron and I, it’s been, what, six years? ...
Josh Robbins: (1/2) After tonight’s loss, @TheAthleticNBA asked Aaron Gordon if he still hopes for a trade before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. His answer: “I’m focused on tomorrow night. As of right now, I’m an Orlando Magic, and I’ve been here for seven years and ...
In addition to Barnes, the Nuggets remain interested in Orlando forward Aaron Gordon, league sources told The Post. One league source said Orlando appears more interested in moving Gordon than Sacramento does moving on from Barnes at this point.
In addition to the Nuggets, the Boston Celtics remain heavily engaged with the Magic in pursuit of Gordon as well, league sources said.
With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, several impactful players could be moved by Thursday. If you’re looking for a forward, Aaron Gordon and Nemanja Bjelica are among the most likely to be moved.
Just a little more on the Aaron Gordon trade front here. An NBA executive, watching from afar when it comes to the Gordon sweepstakes, says he’s not the only name the Celtics are chasing. If he was, the deal would be done. Executing deals with Boston can be tricky. Offers are often made out of Beantown for players not currently on the Celtics’ roster (meaning a third team has to get involved), which can frustrate colleagues looking to make a big deal.
The Boston Celtics are considered the frontrunners to add Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon via trade, multiple sources confirmed to The Action Network Monday night. While the framework of a deal is in active discussion and considered the leading offer, sources say no deal has been agreed upon and the Magic are expected to continue to take offers up until Thursday’s deadline.
Boston, multiple sources confirmed, has offered two first-round picks. No other teams on the board have yet to reach that offer level. It’s not known yet what types of protections are attached to those talks but there is an assumption there will be some, if not significant, protections on the first-rounders.
As first reported by Matt Moore of The Action Network (and confirmed by The Athletic), the Celtics are now considered the front-runners in the Aaron Gordon sweepstakes. A source with knowledge of the Gordon talks said the Celtics have indeed put two first-round picks on the table, and that the framework of the deal would also include Magic guard (and free-agent-to-be) Evan Fournier heading to the Celtics. (You can read additional coverage of a Gordon-to-Boston possibility here.)
Keith Smith: Sources: Aaron Gordon has put the Boston Celtics near the top of the list of teams he would like be traded to. Celtics and Magic remain engaged in trade talks. Boston has moved to Gordon as their primary target three days from the trade deadline.
Keith Smith: Per sources: While Celtics and Magic are engaged in trade discussions on Aaron Gordon, they aren't considered to be close at this time. Magic are still asking for a big return for Gordon and listening to offers from several other teams.
Keith Smith: Orlando is talking Aaron Gordon trades with several teams, beyond just Boston. Magic are expected to take negotiations down to the deadline in an effort to get the best offer possible. Celtics first made their interest known in early-February per a league source.
One key party with knowledge of the talks disputed that it nearly reached the point of completion. It would have likely involved Victor Oladipo. However, any team that seeks a trade for the Orlando Magic versatile forward would prefer to have some assurances that Gordon would agree to an extension, sources said.
Talks have diminished between Orlando and the Portland Trail Blazers, a source said. The Denver Nuggets are still interested, but there isn't desperation to make a move, sources said.
Aaron Gordon is ready for a relocation, as sources tell The Athletic that he asked Orlando Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman for a trade through his representative in February. But will he land in Boston before the NBA’s trade deadline on Thursday? The Celtics have certainly been trying.
Sources say the Celtics, whose significant struggles this season appear to have increased the pressure to add another impactful player in time for the playoff push, have been among the teams engaged with the Magic about a possible Gordon deal. Gordon, who is one of the most sought after players at the deadline, has also been at the center of talks with Houston, Minnesota, Denver and Portland, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Gordon addresses the Celtics’ most present priority of filling the hole left by Gordon Hayward’s departure with a dynamic wing approaching his prime and acquires a player with another year left of declining salary on his deal. Gordon both satisfies the desire to get a high-level complementary piece on the same timeline of its core while limiting the luxury tax pain next season. Depending on whether the Celtics make an additional trade and jump into the luxury tax this season — they currently have approximately $13.51 million of room below the tax, per league sources — they would not face the repeater tax until the ‘22-‘23 season at the earliest.
Though Boston can use Tristan Thompson’s $9.5 million salary as a base for salary matching in addition to prospects like Payton Pritchard, Romeo Langford or Aaron Nesmith, several league sources have indicated over the past week that the Celtics absorbing Gordon, or another major trade target, into their $28.5 million trade exception would be preferable to including Thompson.
The Nuggets have sniffed around Gordon, sources said, and he could toggle between forward spots with Michael Porter Jr. on both ends depending on matchups and scheme. Gordon's declining contract expires after next season, right in time for Porter's next mega-contract to kick in -- meaning Gordon's eight-figure salary would only overlap with eight-figure deals for Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Porter if the Nuggets choose to re-sign him.
The Houston Rockets and the Magic have had serious talks on a potential Gordon deal, league sources said. The precise terms under discussion are not 100 percent clear, but best I can read the tea leaves, Houston would have to send out significant draft compensation -- multiple picks -- as part of any proposed Gordon deal. No deal is imminent, league sources said. But the talks have been substantive.
The Wolves have long lusted after Gordon, sources said, and they have been perhaps the most active team in the league working the phones in the past month. If you can think of a power forward between the ages of 22 and 30 who might be available or theoretically available, you can bet Minnesota has inquired about him.
As far as the Gordon market, the Rockets and Magic have engaged in talks on a Gordon deal to Houston for two first-round draft picks, sources have told The Athletic. No deal is imminent on this front as of this writing, but there have been significant talks. The Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers remain interested in Gordon, sources say, but Orlando has held a firm value of its 25-year-old forward. Sources tell me and The Athletic’s Jared Weiss that the Celtics have interest in Gordon and have engaged in conversations with the Magic.
Jon Krawczynski: Have heard that Orlando is driving a hard bargain for Gordon. This is a steep price. We'll see if that ask holds as the deadline nears.
Denver has interest in Orlando forward Aaron Gordon ahead of next Thursday’s trade deadline, league sources told The Denver Post, and the Nuggets need to assess on-court fit and whether he’s a player capable of vaulting them past some of the other Western Conference powers.
The Nuggets are far from the only interested team. Portland, Minnesota, and potentially Golden State and Houston, according to sources, are all potential landing spots for Gordon, who’s played in just one postseason in his seven-year career.
At this point, six days from next Thursday’s trade deadline, a deal is still viewed as unlikely, according to a source. With so few quality players on the market, sellers have requested a premium on their returns. The cost for interested teams in Gordon is believed to be a young player or players, a draft pick, in addition to matching salary, league sources said.
As the Magic have sunk in the standings, they've expressed an interest in making players available, sources said, and Gordon has drawn plenty of interest. But it still isn't clear to teams whether the Magic are ultimately motivated to trade Gordon.
Aaron Gordon is one of the most talented players who has come up intrade rumors, but the price to obtain him is not cheap. To pry Gordon from the Magic, it would cost a first-round pick and a good young player, league sources told HoopsHype.
Michael Singer: My opinion: I’ve seen a lot of Aaron Gordon-Nuggets trade chatter today. While I don’t doubt Denver is interested in the prototype, I’d be stunned if Gordon landed in Denver. 1. He’d be expensive 2. Blocks MPJ’s development at PF 3. They’d have to pay him, a lot, in a year.
Acquiring him now would also allow Gordon's new team to evaluate him closely before he becomes a free agent in 2022. That's likely why the Rockets, Mavericks, Nuggets and Warriors all remain interested. With Denver, sources said its package would center around Bol Bol, yet there's an apparent hesitation from the Nuggets front office about having to potentially pay both Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. next summer. For Dallas, Dwight Powell has been rumored among league personnel as the centerpiece in any deal.
Gordon: The Magic have been open to listening to calls on Gordon, sources said, and Minnesota and Portland are among the teams showing interest.
Some lead members of New Orleans' front office are also quite high on Gordon, sources said, but it's Houston that appears particularly motivated to land him. In several conversations before the Rockets moved Harden, sources said Houston asked interested teams to engage Orlando as a means for the Rockets to ultimately net Gordon, similar to how they ended up acquiring Victor Oladipo.
Until Gordon's left ankle sprain that sidelined him for six weeks, the Timberwolves and Magic were nearing an agreement on a package for Gordon that centered on Ricky Rubio and future draft capital, sources said.
Some rival teams believe Orlando can set the tone for this year's trade market, with Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross and—albeit to a far lesser extent—two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic each categorized as available. "They're listening on all those guys," one assistant general manager said. The name to watch closest of all: Aaron Gordon, considered to be particularly available, and the 25-year-old forward is also eager to welcome a change of scenery, sources said. "They should sell," an Eastern Conference executive added. "They own their first-round pick. If you can get that pick into the top five, and you're adding back Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz next season, all of a sudden things could look very different."
The front office likes him, but the fact remains that the Magic will have an overabundance of power forwards who will be under contract next season: Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, Chuma Okeke and Al-Farouq Aminu (assuming Aminu exercises his player option). Orlando could start Isaac at the four and start Gordon at the three next season, but while that alignment would be lethal defensively, it would be subpar offensively because of its limited floor spacing and shot creation. In addition, in December the Magic signed Isaac to a four-year extension that will run through the 2024-25 season. So it looks like Isaac is Orlando’s long-term choice at power forward, even though Isaac has struggled with injuries. Because Gordon will become an unrestricted free agent in 2022, I think the Magic will try to trade him before next season, most likely to find help on the wings.
Darren Wolfson: The Wolves had trade interest in Gordon last year, February-January of 2020. They talked to Orlando. They've been trying to trade for Aaron Gordon for a while. They view him as a really good fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns. So the Wolves have engaged Orlando in numerous talks. In fact, I'll advance it here by saying I'm told that the Wolves made Orlando a pretty nice offer before Gordon got hurt sometime earlier this calendar year. So they talked to Orlando around draft time. Then at some point after the season started. I'm told they made some sort of offer. I don't have specifics on what that offer entailed. Clearly, it wasn't enough to get a deal done.
Minnesota has shown interest in power forwards around the league, including Atlanta’s John Collins and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, sources said. Both players have significant asking prices in the marketplace.
Brian Windhorst: The Orlando Magic possibly could be willing to part with a guy like Evan Fournier. Maybe a guy like Aaron Gordon, that is being chatted around about executives.
*So what kind of big moves could the Wolves be exploring? "I'll give an example. Aaron Gordon in Orlando," Marks said. "He's only 25 but he's been down there seven years. ... It's almost like trading your inconsistencies for another team's inconsistencies. ... That's the kind of deal you are looking at from your perspective, especially since you owe Golden State that No. 1 pick."
The Minnesota Timberwolves pursued a trade for Aaron Gordon this offseason, league sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN. The Wolves are thin at power forward with Juan Hernangomez and Jake Layman on the depth chart. Minnesota, however, is deep on the perimeter with D'Angelo Russell, Ricky Rubio, Anthony Edwards, Jarrett Culver, Josh Okogie and Malik Beasley.
Other teams imagine this Gordon. Several -- maybe as many as 10, maybe more -- called Orlando to express interest in trading for Gordon during the recent transaction period, sources said. Minnesota was one, sources said, and Gordon would fit there in a supporting role alongside high-volume playmakers and one of the greatest shooting bigs ever in Karl-Anthony Towns. How might Gordon look in Portland, playing off two elite guards and a snazzy-passing center in Jusuf Nurkic? What about as the nominal center in small-ball Brooklyn lineups featuring Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and two other perimeter guys?
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: The Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic had discussed a trade featuring Russell Westbrook for a package centered around Aaron Gordon, but talks never progressed.
Mitch Lawrence: Orlando Magic turned down Portland’s offers to land Aaron Gordon, before the Blazers used similar assets to make their move for the Rockets’ Robert Covington, per sources. Gordon was said to be the Blazers’ No. 1 target.
League sources say the Magic are attempting to move up into the lottery by packaging this pick with Aaron Gordon. If they stay put, Maxey would potentially provide lottery value and immediately inject life as an energetic presence and a hard-nosed defender. Though Markelle Fultz’s resurgence makes for a nice story, he’s still yet to prove he can reliably shoot the ball. Maxey is further along as a scorer off the dribble, which could push Fultz into his ideal role as a supercharged Shaun Livingston.
Josh Robbins: Magic's Jeff Weltman when asked about the frequent mention of Aaron Gordon in trade rumors: "It's no surprise. There have been a lot of calls on him. But as I always say, there's just an amazing amount of misinformation that circulates and is unfounded."
Jeff Zilgitt: One option to explore: The Magic are getting calls about Aaron Gordon's availability, I'm told.
Josh Robbins: Jeff Weltman also added: "Yes, we always anticipate getting a lot of calls on A.G. Yes, we have gotten a lot of calls on A.G. And I would say that that means he's a good player."
Some around the league always believed a Gordon for Dinwiddie trade with the Nets would make sense for both sides, but it has yet to come to fruition.
“I think everyone is fair game there minus Isaac,” as one Eastern Conference scout noted. After losing in the first round in consecutive seasons by 4-1 margins each time, a shakeup could be in play.
League sources say the Magic are attempting to move up into the lottery by packaging this pick with Aaron Gordon.
The leaguewide interest level in Aaron Gordon is murkier. Brooklyn discussed chasing him in prior years, but that is probably moot now. He makes sense in Portland, though NBA Twitter's beloved Gordon-for-CJ McCollum swap has never been discussed in any serious way, sources say.
Aaron Gordon on trade rumors: You know, it's not something I can really control. You know, my job is to just stay healthy and stay in shape. And really just continue to be a better basketball player and a better man. If I ended up getting traded then you know it is what it is. If I don't then I'm gonna do what I can for the Orlando Magic and continue to ball out.
So let’s dig into just two names on that list: Gordon and Turner. There’s been a little smoke on the Warriors and Gordon front. He’s about to finish his sixth season in Orlando and it’s starting to feel as if that partnership has become stale.
What would it take to get him? The Warriors, in this hypothetical, could offer the Johnson expiring contract and either young talent (like an Eric Paschall or whomever they draft with their upcoming top-five pick) or a future first-rounder. Minnesota’s 2021 first-rounder, owned by the Warriors, is appetizing to other franchises.
Gordon was on the block at the trade deadline last February and there was interest from teams like Golden State and Phoenix, but nothing that got close to becoming a workable deal. Gordon bounced back after a rough start but still, the Magic want to give the team over to Jonathan Isaac and Gordon just doesn’t fit with that plan. He has a contract that lines up well for a trade, declining to $18.1 million next year and $16.4 million in the final year of the deal. Eastern Conference exec: “They were really trying to deal him before the deadline but they weren’t getting the assets back they wanted. It will be easier to move that contract when it’s only got two years left. He’s probably the most likely big name to be traded. He’s a good gamble—he is only 24.”
Six seasons into his career, Orlando still is trying to figure out how to maximize his talent. He’s still young (24) and wouldn’t mind, at all, being moved. Any deal likely would require some fancy financial finagling, but it’s conceivable.
But the big thing I keep coming back to is this: The Magic need to shake things up with this roster, in my view. They have interesting pieces, it’s just that all of those pieces don’t fit all that well together. In my mind, their three best players are Nikola Vucevic, Isaac and Aaron Gordon. And unfortunately, you can’t play all three of those guys together at once at their optimal effectiveness. And in the backcourt, they still don’t have nearly enough playmaking and shot-making. That makes them ripe for a trade to try and move some of that talent from the frontcourt to the backcourt potentially. To me, Gordon is the odd man out, and I think they could actually get a pretty real trade package for him with two years left on his deal at a very reasonable cost due to the descending structure of his contract. That’s the route I’d look at, despite the fact that I think Gordon is probably the second-best asset on the roster behind Isaac.
VECENIE: I have one particular deal I’ve been kicking around for a while, and I’ve floated it to a few people around the league who have found it interesting. The Golden State Warriors seem primed to use the $17.2 million trade exception that they created in last summer’s Andre Iguodala trade to Memphis. Typically, within a trade exception, you can’t take back more than the amount of the exception in a deal. Given that Aaron Gordon is set to make $18.1 million next year, you’d think he’s out of the running. Not so fast, my friend. The Warriors could swing what would amount to a sort of three-team trade that functions as two separate trades in actuality to make someone like Gordon fit into that exception. They could take back a big contract on someone’s books — say, Minnesota’s James Johnson after Johnson picks up his player option for $16 million next season — into that trade exception and actually use that contract in a separate trade to acquire someone making more than $17.2 million.
There is no “clock is ticking” urgency with regard to Aaron Gordon, who played superbly after he returned to power forward. Gordon has two full seasons remaining on his contract. But the fact that neither Gordon nor Isaac are natural small forwards presents a problem offensively, and at some point, that situation almost certainly needs to be resolved. Hypothetically, the team could trade Gordon as soon as this offseason, although his recent stellar play should give the team pause.
The Suns also made a late push for Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, sources said. Gordon, who along with Derrick Jones Jr., put on a show at the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, has had a strong second half of the season. He is expected to be pursued in the offseason by multiple teams.
Could a package including Dinwiddie have landed a player like Aaron Gordon from Orlando? Is Gordon the kind of player that can help push Brooklyn into the East's upper echelon? Some execs believe a player like Gordon can help Brooklyn but wouldn't push them into the echelon of NBA title contender.
If Brooklyn has interest in trading for Gordon this summer, the club will probably have significant competition. The Pacers are among the teams that had a degree of interest in pursuing a deal for Gordon before the deadline, per SNY sources.
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.
May 12, 2021 | 3:37 pm EDT Update
“Man, I feel like I’m the Defensive Player of the Year every year,” Holiday told Yahoo Sports in an exclusive phone interview. “I’m not joking about that. And I know this is my opinion, and other people have different opinions and they’ll probably think I’m crazy. But I think what I bring defensively on the court, a lot of people don’t really do, to be completely honest. “I feel like I should be in the conversation every year. I’m being serious. This isn’t the first year I’ve been playing defense this way.”
“I don’t know, but maybe because I’m not flashy,” Holiday said to Yahoo Sports. “I’m super low-key, and I don’t need much attention, I don’t want much attention. I don’t talk trash, and I’m not really that loud. Maybe it’s just more like a business transaction. I go out there and do my job. And then once my job is done, I go home and chill with my family. But I’m not popular, and I’m OK with that. I don’t want to be popular. If I’m not on TV a lot, and you don’t see me playing defense, you don’t see me doing what I do. The Lakers are on TV, Boston’s on TV, but when I was in New Orleans, we weren’t on TV as much as we wanted to be. So maybe that’s a part of the reason why I’m overlooked.
“Does it make me mad? No. I’m OK with kind of being under the radar. I’m not a flashy person, so these are things that I can’t control. I know a lot of guys that hoop respect my game just like I respect theirs. I feel like that means more to me. Unfortunately, the players don’t have a vote.”
Future Hall of Famer Andre Iguodala of the Miami Heat called Holiday the “best defender in the league.” Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said, “To me, [Jrue’s] the best defender in the league. Like, out of the guards, I think he’s the best.” Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant praised Holiday for his versatility.
As his team wraps up the regular season with the NBA’s worst record, Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta emphasized his excitement about the franchise’s future, declaring confidence in the leadership the team has in place after a year of extreme turnover. “I never thought I could feel this good after winning only 16 games,” Fertitta told ESPN, specifically citing the emergence of a young core in Houston and his faith in Rockets rookie head coach Stephen Silas and first-year general manager Rafael Stone.
“I never thought I could feel this good when I’ve been so upset about losing. But when I look at all the draft picks that we have and the future, I’m just happy. I know it’s unusual to feel this good with your coach and your general manager, but I do.”
Fertitta and the Rockets’ front office have been steadfast in their support for and belief in Silas, who toiled for two decades as an NBA assistant before Houston hired him in October, and are especially encouraged by the development of young core players such as Wood, guard Kevin Porter Jr. and forwards Jae’Sean Tate and Kenyon Martin Jr.
“Silas has just shown a great ability to develop these guys, and he’s had thrown at him something that’s unprecedented: To have 29 guys play for a team — and play real minutes,” Fertitta said, citing the NBA-record number of players to appear in games for the Rockets this season. “All these injuries happened this year. This will never happen again. It’s hard to believe we were 11-10 and then all the injuries started. “I think he’s handled it unbelievably. It was hard on everybody.”