NBA Rumors: Analyzing Trade Reports on Aaron Gordon, Dennis Schroder and More

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 6, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 27: Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic dunks the ball against the Indiana Pacers on January 27, 2018 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

At this juncture, it's clear which teams will be buyers and sellers before the trade deadline. All that's left to figure out is who's going where.

A few big names have been floated in some recent rumors, in addition to a few complementary players who could be key components for a playoff contender's stretch run.

Here's a look at a few rumors in advance of the NBA trade deadline on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

           

Aaron Gordon

Michael Scotto of The Athletic dropped this bombshell regarding Orlando Magic power forward Aaron Gordon on February 1: 

"The new regime of Jeff Weltman and John Hammond has left no stone unturned with the deadline approaching, including quietly gauging the trade market on Aaron Gordon, league sources told The Athletic. Gordon is eligible for restricted free agency this summer, so Orlando could simply be doing due diligence."

Zach Lowe of ESPN also reported on Gordon, saying "everyone but Gordon and [rookie forward and 2017 first-round pick Jonathan Isaac] is readily available, per sources around the league."

Trading Gordon wouldn't be a wise move. Yes, he's the star on a team that sits second last in the Eastern Conference, but the Magic have made questionable decisions that have led them to this point.

Notably, they traded shooting guard Victor Oladipo to the Oklahoma City Thunder for power forward Serge Ibaka, who played for the team for 56 games before being traded for Terrence Ross and a draft pick who ended up being Anzejs Pasecniks. Oladipo is now thriving in Indiana and just made his first All-Star game.

Simply put, it's not Gordon's fault this team has wilted. The Magic lack an identity and have a bunch of mismatched pieces on the roster. They need a complete rebuild, but Gordon is a player for the future and not a problem. 

The former Arizona Wildcat is just 22 years old and has thrived in the power forward position this year, averaging 18.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game (both career-highs).

Gordon has also improved his three-point shooting, knocking down 34.6 percent of his shots from downtown (his previous career-high was 29.6 percent).

Ultimately, it wouldn't make sense for him to be dealt before the deadline. Expect him to stay in Orlando.

                     

Atlanta Hawks

It's incredible to think that the Atlanta Hawks were 60-22 just three seasons ago and won 19 straight games at one point.

Now they are 16-37 and sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference. The five starters on that 2014-15 team (Paul Millsap, Al Horford, DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague) are all playing in other cities.

Atlanta made the playoffs in 2016 and 2017 but didn't go far, and now it is in full rebuild mode.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported the following information: "General manager Travis Schlenk, hired last May, has put the Hawks into full-scale sell mode approaching the deadline on Thursday, with just about everyone on the roster outside of rookie John Collins up for discussion."

However, Atlanta might have some trouble moving these players. Deveney noted there hasn't been much interest in anyone aside from center Dewayne Dedmon, who has been productive with limited court time (10.0 points and 7.7 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game).

The lack of interest in point guard Dennis Schroder is a bit puzzling considering his age and scoring prowess. He's only 24 years old and averaging 19.3 points per game in addition to 6.4 assists.

Deveney explained that rationale: "Schroder has been a poor 3-point shooter (28.0 percent this year), and there is doubt among league executives that he can be a leader on a playoff team. He is owed $46.5 million over the next three seasons."

More concerning may be the fact Schroder's three-point shooting percentage has taken a sizable dip in his fourth NBA year, as he made 34 percent of his shots from downtown in the 2016-17 campaign.

Ultimately, Schroder's outside shooting woes are not ideal in an NBA era where teams are so reliant on the three ball.

Furthermore, the Hawks' package request in return for Schroder could be too much for teams to absorb. Atlanta should be asking for some key assets back, especially considering Schroder's scoring ability, age and future potential. But if they aren't getting any takers, then the Hawks may have to settle for less if they are truly committed to a clean slate and full rebuild.

Also, don't be surprised if wing Kent Bazemore picks up some more interest, though. He's a high-energy player who averages 1.7 steals per game and is a pest for opposing teams. The 28-year-old is also scoring a career-high 13.2 points per game in addition to shooting a career-best 38.9 percent from three-point range.

Atlanta will unquestionably be sellers at the deadline, but will it find many takers?

                         

Derrick Favors

The NBA's hottest team is the Utah Jazz. Yes, you read that correctly.

Utah has won its last six games and eight of its last 10 to move within three games of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Donovan Mitchell is a strong Rookie of the Year candidate (arguably second to Philadelphia's Ben Simmons), shot-blocking extraordinaire Rudy Gobert is back in the mix after missing time with a left knee injury and point guard Ricky Rubio has been scorching hot from the field (22.8 points per game in his last four contests).

Power forward Derrick Favors, however, may not be part of this resurgence much longer. Zach Lowe of ESPN dropped this note in his recent trade deadline piece: "Derrick Favors is a useful bellwether. He is a good player on an expiring $12 million contract, and very much on the market, according to several league sources and prior reports."

However, Lowe proceeded to note a Favors deal could be tricky to pull off thanks to teams' reluctance to part with a first-round pick coupled with the lack of enticing long-term contracts potentially available in the trade market.

The 26-year-old is shooting an efficient 55 percent from the field en route to averaging 12.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Favors is a serviceable starter, but he would be a great addition off a playoff contender's bench, as the 6'10" big man can play power forward or center.

As Lowe noted, however, a deal could be tricky to pull off. Regardless, the Jazz have become one of the NBA's more intriguing teams thanks to this recent run (which includes a blowout win over the Golden State Warriors), so it will be fascinating to see what they can do in advance of Thursday.

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