The Denver Nuggets gave up Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton and a protected 2025 first-round pick to acquire Aaron Gordon during the 2020-21 season, and they reportedly made sure he will be with the team for the foreseeable future.
Denver and Gordon agreed to a four-year, $92 million contract extension on Tuesday, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. It reportedly includes a player option for the 2025-26 season.
Prior to this news, the 2021-22 campaign was set to be the final one on Gordon's contract.
This is not a particularly surprising development, as Mike Singer of the Denver Post reported in August that there was "mutual optimism" regarding a contract extension for Gordon.
Denver turned heads when it traded Harris, Hampton and the draft pick to the Orlando Magic prior to the 2020-21 season's deadline, and it makes sense the team envisioned Gordon as a key part of its future alongside the core of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.
The forward averaged 10.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists a night in 25 regular-season games for Denver and then posted 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
His ability to get out in transition and play above the rim all while shooting from the outside made him a matchup problem for opposing defenses, and he fit in nicely as a secondary option who could take advantage of the spacing created by playing alongside Jokic and Murray.
However, as Singer noted, he wasn't quite as effective of a fit after Murray went down with a torn ACL because it put more offensive responsibility on his shoulders.
At his best, Gordon is someone who can lead the defense with the versatility to defend multiple positions and the length and athleticism to cut off driving lanes. Opponents shot 3.2 percent worse overall and 5.6 percent worse within 10 feet of the basket when he guarded them in 2020-21, per NBA.com.
That defense will be all the more important on this new contract as the 25-year-old looks to help lead the Nuggets to the next step in the playoffs.
Denver reached the Western Conference Finals in 2020 and the second round last year but has one of the league's best cores in place as it looks to win a championship. Gordon will now be a part of that group for multiple years.