Aaron Gordon Trade Rumors: Rockets, Nuggets, Pistons Inquired About Magic Star

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) brings the ball up the court during an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Dallas. Dallas won 112-98. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
Jeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press

The Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets reportedly have all reached out to the Orlando Magic with interest in forward Aaron Gordon ahead of the 2021 NBA trade deadline on March 25.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Monday the Portland Trail Blazers are also a "dark horse squad" in the pursuit of Gordon, who carries a "substantial price tag" in trade talks.

Gordon returned from an ankle injury Thursday against the Miami Heat. He was productive, tallying nine points, two rebounds and a block in 14 minutes, but Orlando held him out of its next two games for injury management.

Interested teams will want to make sure he's healthy enough to play 20-25 minutes a game consistently down the stretch if they're going to meet the Magic's high asking price.

Gordon has averaged 13.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 threes across 20 appearances this season. He's shooting 42.5 percent from the field, including 36.5 percent from three-point range.

He's an obvious trade candidate with the Magic, who own the NBA's fourth-worst record (13-26), starting to look toward the future. His contract presents a hurdle, however, since he has an $18.1 million cap hit this season and a $16.4 million hit next season.

The Pistons (10-28) and Rockets (11-26) are also lingering near the bottom of the standings, so their interest suggests they view Gordon as a building block for next year.

Denver (22-16) would give the 25-year-old California native a chance to compete in the playoffs, but his minutes would likely be a bit sporadic. Michael Porter Jr. starts at the 4 with Paul Millsap and JaMychal Green providing depth, so Gordon would likely play some minutes at the 3.

Portland (22-16) presents a similar situation with Robert Covington and Carmelo Anthony handling most of the duties at power forward.

It wouldn't be a surprise to see more teams jump in the Gordon talks as the deadline moves closer, especially if he can get more time on the floor to prove he's healthy. At his best, he could be a terrific high-energy reserve weapon for a contender looking for more production off the bench.