The NBA Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, and it's sounding more and more as if the Orlando Magic are finally going to deal forward Aaron Gordon – a good player who could perhaps become that much better if he finally landed on a good team. The Magic have not been that since taking Gordon with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. SportsLine offers odds on Gordon's next team if he is traded, and he has officially asked for one.
At 14-28 entering Tuesday's home game vs. Denver, Orlando is going nowhere. Gordon is essentially a lock to leave as a free agent in the summer of 2022, so his value would never be higher than it is right now. If the Magic keep him, there's always the risk of injury. Gordon is averaging 14.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists while shooting a very solid 40.2 percent from deep.
There were reports over the weekend that the Magic were close to sending Gordon to rebuilding Houston in perhaps a deal for Victor Oladipo, who was the No. 2 overall pick in 2013 by the Magic. However, Gordon wants no part of a trade to a non-contender. Gordon doesn't have a no-trade clause, but he could tell any team that he won't sign a long-term extension. He has a salary cap hit of just over $18 million this season so any trading team would have to nearly match that.
The Boston Celtics make a lot of sense as they haven't filled the hole left at forward when Gordon Hayward left for Charlotte in free agency. The Celtics also have a $28 million trade exception that Gordon could slide right into. Boston would go into the luxury tax by absorbing Gordon's entire deal but could send back just $3 million in the trade to avoid that.
The C's also are looking at Atlanta forward John Collins, but there are multiple reports they are now favorites for Gordon. Adding Gordon to All-Stars Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker would put Boston closer to the East favorites. Currently, the C's are +1400 fifth favorites in the conference at William Hill.
Other teams that reportedly have talked with Orlando: The Trail Blazers, Nuggets, Warriors and Timberwolves. Minnesota clearly isn't close to contention. Gordon would seem to fit perfectly in Portland as a Draymond Green-type. Perhaps that's why Golden State also wants him.
At last season's trade deadline, Orlando nearly traded Gordon to the Suns in exchange for Kelly Oubre and a draft pick. Oubre is now with the Warriors if the Magic still like him, although Oubre is set for free agency this summer. Orlando wants a young player and first-round pick back.
If the Magic don't play Gordon on Tuesday, that means a trade is likely imminent.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: If traded, with which team will Aaron Gordon finish the season?
- Celtics +150
- Warriors +400
- Trail Blazers +400
- Rockets +500
- Nuggets +600
- Timberwolves +800
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it has returned more than $9,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $1,200 on its top-rated picks this season, and dating back to last year, it enters Week 14 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 91-53 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen HUGE returns.