What it will take for the Orlando Magic to move their key players

4 of 5
Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic’s search to improve their roster may finally lead them to conclude Aaron Gordon no longer fits. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Aaron Gordon

Perhaps the most intriguing trade chip the Orlando Magic have to play is Aaron Gordon. He is perhaps the one big chip the team has to cash to build up some capital within the roster or transform it significantly.

Aaron Gordon has the right mix of potential, previous success and established talent to attract some team somewhere. Even if nobody is sure about what he is in this league still.

For the Magic, he seems both extremely important to the present but also expendable in the future. Orlando already seems particularly loaded at his position with similar players. The biggest question the Magic seemingly face is whether Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon can play together.

That does not seem like the safest bet at the moment. The easiest thing the Magic could do to improve is to clear up that logjam and get a higher-level asset for him in return. Gordon is probably the most valuable and attractive trade piece the Magic are likely willing to part with.

The question for Orlando is figuring out when the right time to pull the trigger would be. That is going to be the test then for Jeff Weltman. This is truly a big card the team could pull.

Gordon’s injury this year will certainly make it tougher to assess his potential trade value. He likely will not get too much time to play before then. So that will make a trade even more difficult to figure.

Live Feed

Denver Nuggets forward claps back at Noah Lyles after Finals comments
Denver Nuggets forward claps back at Noah Lyles after Finals comments /

Nugg Love

  • 6 ways the Denver Nuggets made NBA history last season Nugg Love
  • Do the Denver Nuggets have the NBA's Best Big 3? Nugg Love
  • Nuggets projected lineup and rotations heading into 2023-24 season FanSided
  • Aaron Gordon is an NBA Champion; Man of the People Zona Zealots
  • The Denver Nuggets proved that defense still wins championships  FanSided
  • That is on top of Gordon’s inconsistent season to this point already. Gordon is averaging 13.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game, both numbers down from last year. He is averaging 4.2 assists per game, showing some newfound playmaking that adds to his versatility.

    Orlando reportedly shopped Gordon at last year’s deadline. They did not find any deals that moved them to change — especially while they were still in the playoff chase. Even if the Magic are out of the playoffs, it might be tough to move him without assurances that Isaac is ready to play.

    In other words, the Magic’s posture may not have changed much. Orlando is still likely to wait out a deal that compels them to move. Figuring out what that move is might be anybody’s guess.

    It is hard to figure that out.

    Gordon could be the centerpiece of a deal to acquire the kind of star that ties the roster together. But that seems less and less likely at this point. The Magic just have to assess the market.

    This is probably the point the Magic have the most leverage in any deal. Gordon has two years left on his deal. So a team acquiring him would get the benefit of a full season before they have to make their own decision on whether to trade him before the next deadline.

    Sounds simple right? The clock is clearly ticking though. And this might be the biggest decision the Magic have to make. One that could determine whether Jeff Weltman’s project is successful or not.

    Orlando has to get this decision on Gordon right as the team continues to build and move forward.

    But who or what the team is looking to get for Gordon is anybody’s guess. My bet is another player in Gordon’s position — on his first contract after his rookie contract — that fits the roster better. The Magic need a starter in return.

    Potential Trade Partners: Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors

    Potential Trade Targets: CJ McCollum, Spencer Dinwiddie, Kelly Oubre, Andrew Wiggins, Paul Millsap, Rodney Hood