The NBA trade deadline is just a few days away on March 25, and one potential candidate who could be on a different team is Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, who requested a trade from the team back in February, The Athletic's Jared Weiss reports.
After Tuesday's loss to the Denver Nuggets, Gordon expanded upon his frustrations in Orlando.
"There've been times when I've expressed my frustration to management. Frustration with the losses, the injuries, the way we've been playing, how we've been playing and how many losses have accumulated over the years. It's just my frustration boiling over. I think a lot of people share that sentiment with me of frustration."
Gordon has long been a popular trade candidate for the past couple of seasons, and the 25-year-old is hoping that a change in scenery will positively impact his career. The athletic forward wants to be on a contending team where he has a bigger role, as opposed to playing on an Orlando squad that has been bounced from the first round of the postseason in the last two years. While Gordon does have a history with injuries, there are several teams interested in acquiring him, with the Celtics potentially being the biggest pursuers.
According to Weiss:
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.
Boston has certainly needed another offensive weapon after realizing that Gordon Hayward's absence left a bigger hole than many initially thought. The Celtics have the assets to pull off a trade for Gordon, who will be in the final year of his contract next season, and would reportedly prefer to use part of their $28.5 million trade exception to absorb his contract, instead of throwing a player like Tristan Thompson in a trade package.
Other teams who are expected to be interested in Gordon are the Rockets, Timberwolves, Nuggets and Trail Blazers. While Gordon wouldn't become the star on any of these teams who have reported interest in him, he's averaging 14 points a game which could add an offensive jolt to any team in the league.
He's significantly improved his 3-point shooting over the years, knocking in 40.2 percent of his shots from long range this season on four attempts per game, he's a good passer for his position, and will get you seven-to-eight rebounds a night. He's a versatile defender, who can get in the post and guard bigger guys, or defend on the wing, which would help teams like Portland and Denver.
At last season's trade deadline, Orlando almost pulled off a deal that would've sent Gordon to the Suns in exchange for Kelly Oubre and a draft pick, but it fell apart at the end. The Magic expect a similar type of return this time around if they do deal Gordon, per Weiss.
Whether Gordon lands with the Celtics, or any of the other teams listed it sounds like this may finally be the season that the athletic forward is dealt to a different team. The trade deadline is three days away, so there's still plenty of time for something to materialize.