Orlando Magic Trade Targets: Aaron Gordon Trade Scenarios

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Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic, Kelly Oubre, Phoenix Suns
A deal centered around Aaron Gordon and Kelly Oubre was reportedly on the table between the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns: Kelly Oubre Jr. and Cameron Johnson

This return might be tougher for the Orlando Magic to swallow, given Aaron Gordon’s projected trajectory when he signed his contract.

But this is the reality of the NBA. Players and teams do not make linear progressions. Eventually, you have to make an ostensible downgrade to recoup value for a player on the decline. There is addition by subtraction sometimes too. Gordon’s departure would give Jonathan Isaac more playing time when he returns and gives Chuma Okeke a clearer path to minutes.

Adding Kelly Oubre Jr. and Cameron Johnson provide the Magic with needed outside shooting and versatility at the forward position. Oubre can slide down and play minutes at power forward if the Magic want to go smaller.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Johnson shot the ball very well as a rookie — 39-percent on almost five attempts per game. That is impressive, even when entering the league at 23 years old. If the Magic paired him with Ross and James Ennis off the bench, they would be able to sustain their offense while Nikola Vucevic rests.

Defensively, both Oubre and Johnson have the physical gifts to become tenacious defenders. They are great examples of clay that Clifford could mold into defensive stalwarts.

The question of character and buy-in could come in to play. Magic management would need to perform their due diligence to determine if either would fit the team’s culture.

Both were contributors to a Suns team that almost made the playoffs during the restart in Orlando. Maybe Jeff Weltman, John Hammond and Steve Clifford would use Phoenix Suns’ eight bubble games as evidence to support their development as teammates.

For the Suns, Gordon would fit well alongside Devin Booker. The Suns relied heavily on transition opportunities to sustain their offense. They had the best league’s best transition scoring efficiency last season, per Cleaning the Glass.

Magic fans know that Gordon is built to play in transition. His athleticism and speed make him a tough cover for even the most athletic forwards.

He and Deandre Ayton could be a symbiotic pairing, given that one discovers a reliable outside shot. Both are cerebral enough to play off the other and could make for a fun offensive wrinkle to partner with Booker’s isolation scoring.

While this package does not net a headline player, the Magic could be satisfied with a return of two dependable role players that could provide increased versatility on the perimeter.