Orlando Magic’s front office has finally committed to a path

3 of 4
Aaron Gordon, Denver Nuggets
Aaron Gordon is already settling in with the Denver Nuggets. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Fournier and Gordon deals

The return on Evan Fournier was a little alarming. No one expected much, given his contract expires at the end of this season. But even two second-round picks seems a little low. Some sort of player return would have been more appealing.

The main asset the Magic got out of the deal was a roughly $17-million trade exception. The team has one year to use that and create some kind of return for Fournier. So maybe the jury should still be out on the deal.

Ultimately though, any return was better than letting him walk for nothing at the end of a season. If that was the best offer on the table then it was still worth doing.

Orlando did not get back players of equal value in any of the trades, which was to be wholly expected.

Of the three, sending Aaron Gordon to the Denver Nuggets for veteran Gary Harris, rookie R.J. Hampton and a protected future first was about the best they could hope for. It was also clear that he wanted out of the Magic.

Hampton is a player with real upside and someone the Magic were keen on heading into the draft. He can play either guard position, flashes potential as a knockdown shooter, and possesses tremendous speed and athleticism which help him on both ends of the court.

The success of these trades will be decided well into the future, when the results of the picks are confirmed and the trajectory of the young players is clearer. Weltman and the front office took significant risks at the trade deadline, but as we have seen so often in the NBA, that can often come with reward.