Aaron Gordon is Orlando Magic’s only ‘untouchable’ player

Apr 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) celebrates after hitting a shot in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Amway Center. The Orlando Magic won 119-107. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) celebrates after hitting a shot in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Amway Center. The Orlando Magic won 119-107. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports /

Even on a sub-.500 team there can be untouchable players, and Aaron Gordon really should be the only player in that realm for the Orlando Magic.

The Orlando Magic are going to be a team in heavy flux this summer. With the wealth of young talent on the roster there will be general managers league-wide hoping to snag a bargain on a prospect or two. Especially for teams with directives seemingly to win immediately.

The Magic will be making significant changes, but this certainly also is far from a roster on the verge of implosion.

Rather, this next aspect of the rebuild will be by far the most challenging.

It has to be a challenge to carve this roster into something that can be a playoff team next season.

No other task awaits Rob Hennigan as he gears up for the most unenviable task in recent Magic history. He must begin to accurately assess the value of each player on the roster. That way, when the time comes and offers roll in, Hennigan will know where he stands on his ideal returns.

The Magic are something of a harvest in terms of what they could offer to other teams.

There is an ultra athletic two-way player in Victor Oladipo. Nikola Vucevic is one of the most offensively gifted centers in the NBA. Teams see players on Orlando’s roster that resemble All-Stars, even if no player has earned that distinction in the past four seasons.

Hennigan still does not know what teams will be willing to give for the most proven Magic commodities. His most valuable assets might be the ones who still have not scratched their potential.

But one thing can be somewhat certain, and that is Aaron Gordon should be untouchable in all negotiations.

He has now begun to rise as a player and his abilities on both ends of the court warrant giving a full run. The Magic almost certainly could never receive ample payout relative to what Gordon is on the verge of becoming as a player. The slam dunk contest was his warning siren to the NBA, and since that point he has only flourished further.

The event seemed to supercharge Gordon, or perhaps the timing was nothing more than coincidence. Whatever the case, Gordon has been on a mission and his inconsistencies are vanishing quickly — even though they have now been halted with four games remaining this season by a concussion suffered Wednesday agains the Detroit Pistons. The debate as to his position has been all but settled: he is a power forward. Gordon is potentially even a point-forward with his playmaking ability and chances to push it in transition.

The Magic may have feared it struck out on franchise talent with that No. 4 overall pick in 2014, but that may not end up being the case. A little patience is instead proving the notion Gordon can be a star.

Franchise player may be pushing it, but he has all the tools necessary to be one of the best at his position. His jump shot is still a work in progress, but the mechanics are sound and he did hit 31 percent from behind the arc this year.

That is not a bad benchmark for a guy many said lacked a shot.

Gordon is coming into his own as a player and this late season stretch has inspired in him a confidence to try many things that had been already attempted, but in doing so with a much less rushed approach.

The game has seemingly slowed down for Gordon, as it tends to when a guy really starts to find his niche on the court. Gordon knows he can get his shot at will, but he also realizes now how to structure that within the flow of an offense.

Gone have been the sequences where he over-dribbles or forces the issue in traffic. Instead, the flow of the game has led Gordon to become a highly efficient scoring machine.

The fact he does it without disrupting any of his teammates is an understated brilliance that should not go ignored. Gordon plays a brand of basketball that makes others want to play with him, and he seems to be genuinely enjoying his profession.

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That goes a long way on a team trying to establish a winning culture and one trying to develop chemistry while still having fun.

The wins inevitably come when all those things fall into place, and it should not be overly depressing that the Magic have figured some of this out after the proverbial bell.

There will be no postseason appearance, but there has been immense growth, and Gordon is one of the biggest silver linings in this season.

The Magic needed to know what it had in many of its prospects, and while the jury is still out on many Magic players it should not be on Gordon.

A team would absolutely have to astound with an offer for Hennigan to give any consideration towards dealing Orlando’s most exciting young prospect.

Next: Rob Hennigan's plate is full of tough decisions

The league got a brief glimpse of what he is as a player in the dunk contest, but the in-game theatrics are more brilliant still. Gordon will be one of the defining players of this rebuild, and there is no value that can be put upon such a sure-fire cog.