Orlando Magic Trade Targets: Aaron Gordon Trade Scenarios

2 of 6
Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic
Aaron Gordon has been flirting with stardom on numerous fronts. But the Orlando Magic face a tough decision. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Potential trade difficulties

Jonathan Isaac’s knee injury, and the confirmation that he will not play during the 2021 season, certainly creates a headwind against an immediate trade. Unless the Magic receive a sizeable forward in return for Aaron Gordon, losing crucial depth in the frontcourt would make another run to the playoffs difficult.

While this does not eliminate the complete possibility of a deal, it narrows the potential packages the Magic would accept in return.

Gordon’s recent play should also limit his market.

After a fairly impressive 2018 campaign, Gordon’s offensive production has declined sharply over the past two seasons (aside from improved outside shooting in 2019).

Per Game Table
2017-18 58 32.9 .434 .336 .500 .698 7.9 2.3 1.0 0.8 17.6
2018-19 78 33.8 .449 .349 .507 .731 7.4 3.7 0.7 0.7 16.0
2019-20 62 32.5 .437 .308 .484 .674 7.7 3.7 0.8 0.6 14.4
Career 403 28.6 .448 .319 .499 .701 6.4 2.4 0.8 0.6 12.8

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/3/2020.

Even while compiling higher per-game scoring totals, Gordon has never been an efficient scorer. According to Cleaning the Glass, he has only had one season in which he scored at an above-average rate among forwards.

It would be easier to trade Gordon if he had shot near league-average from outside in consecutive seasons, instead of the precipitous decline that occurred in 2020. As Steve Clifford said on a recent episode of the Orlando Magic Pod Squad, if Gordon could get to 37 or 38-percent shooting from three, he would be a completely different player.

Management across the league is wary of using valuable cap space on forwards who cannot stretch the floor.

If you have not given justifiable evidence for consistency, which Gordon has not, it is risky to assume a change of scenery alone will cure shooting woes.

This deep into his career, the though of him becoming a star is getting dimmer even with his age. Other teams are likely to value Gordon more as a secondary player rather than the primary scorer the Magic have often had to play him as.