Aaron Gordon Rumors: Mavericks, Suns to Pursue Restricted Free Agent in Summer

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) passes against Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon (00) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Orlando Magic power forward Aaron Gordon is reportedly expected to draw serious interest from the Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns as a restricted free agent during the 2018 NBA offseason.

On Wednesday, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News noted Gordon is likely to become a "focus" of the market once the biggest names, such as LeBron James and Paul George, are signed.

The 22-year-old San Jose, California, native is enjoying a breakout season for the Magic. He's averaging 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 34.6 percent from three-point range in 39 appearances. All of those numbers represent career bests.

His individual performance hasn't led to improved results for Orlando, though. The team is tied for the league's fourth-worst record at 18-39 coming out of the All-Star break.

Last month, Gordon told John Denton of NBA.com he tries to keep getting better on a personal level while waiting for the organization to turn a corner in its rebuilding efforts:

"(The losing) hurts and it's not something that I like obviously, but I do my best to continue to focus on the present moment. Win, to me, stands for 'What's Important Now.' What's important now is continuing to get better so that when the opportunity presents itself I'm ready and we're ready as a team. It's the present that I focus on, staying ruthless and taking steps forward every day toward becoming a winning culture."

While the fact he's going to generate interest as an RFA doesn't come as a surprise, it's hard to imagine a scenario where the Magic wouldn't match any offer that's made.

He's a key building block on a roster otherwise limited in talent, and Orlando is projected to have over $16.4 million in practical cap space during the offseason, per Spotrac.

So with Gordon finally living up to expectations after getting selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft, expect him to stick with the Magic, regardless of efforts from Dallas, Indiana, Phoenix and any other potential suitors this summer.


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