NBA Rumor: Aaron Gordon Free Agency

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Like Porter, Gordon is set to enter the last season of his contract and could leave as a free agent next summer, a risk the Nuggets knew when they acquired him for Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and a future first-round pick. When the Magic structured the four-year, $76 million contract that Gordon signed in 2018, they did so with the salary declining in each year. As a result, the maximum extension that Gordon can sign for is four years, $88 million. The $19.7 million cap hit in year one is a 120% raise off his $16.4 million salary in 2021-22.

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3 years ago via ESPN

Ian Begley: Aaron Gordon, one of the biggest restricted free agents on the market this summer, said on Tuesday that he’d prefer to re-sign with the Orlando Magic and reiterated that he’d like a maximum contract. “Yeah definitely but we’ll see how it goes,” Gordon said when asked if he’d still like a max contract at the premiere of the Uncle Drew movie in New York City. “Whatever Orlando wants to do. As a restricted free agent, I completely trust (management).” Gordon said after the season that his ideal scenario is signing a max deal with the Magic, per the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando can offer Gordon a five-year contract this summer projected at $148 million. An opposing team can offer a four-year contract worth less annually and in total. Gordon, 22, said on Tuesday that he’d prefer to finalize the deal with Orlando quickly rather than talking to other teams.

OS: A perception is that the Magic cannot afford to lose Aaron and not have anyone to show for the years that preceded your arrival. Is that accurate? Weltman: I don’t think of it in those terms. I just [ask], “Is it a good match for the player? Is it a good match for the team, both on the court and organizationally?” And if so, you can find a way to make things work. That’s generally what happens, and I believe that those things line up well in this situation. And we just hope for the best.

Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports joined Chris Mannix on the Chris Mannix Show to begin discussing free agency and said the executives around the league largely expect the Magic to match any offer for Gordon — even a max offer sheet. “I think both teams are aware they need to go to max numbers for them,” Charania says about the impending free agency for Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine. “But the question is will they make them go get a sheet. The sentiment I’ve gotten is if Zach LaVine goes and gets a max, we have too much invested in them. Same with Aaron Gordon.”

With Aaron Gordon headed toward the uncertainty of restricted free agency, the talented 22-year-old forward could have been playing his final game with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night – a potential proposition that he not only doubted, but also refused to entertain. “Not even in the least bit,’’ Gordon said. “It’s a short time between the (June 21) draft and when free agents are available (July 1), but at the same time it’s a long time if that makes sense. There’s a lot that can happen within two-to-three months. But (Wednesday), I’m just looking to have fun.’’

There are other financial reasons for Orlando to sign the floor-spacing big man to a deal as opposed to matching an offer sheet. If Gordon signs with another team, forcing the Magic to match in order to keep him, that would give him an automatic no-trade clause for the first year of his deal, as well as a trade kicker, which would force Orlando to pay him a percentage of his contract even if they decided to trade him. Whenever the Magic decide Gordon is their guy, it makes more sense – both fiscally and emotionally – to sign him straight up, and not let his potential flirtation with other teams get too intense.

Many players in the Class of 2014 already have been washouts. There is one — Magic forward Aaron Gordon — who has significantly upped his play in the early going this season and is in line for a big payout next summer. Orlando had talks with Gordon about an extension last month, but there was not much urgency. The Magic’s new front office was willing to wait to see what they had with Gordon this year before committing big money, and Gordon was willing to gamble on a breakout season that would guarantee him something in the range of a max deal next summer.
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