The Golden State Warriors have rumored interest in Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon.
It is no secret that the Golden State Warriors are planning for a big offseason ahead, but the latest rumors might have some scratching their heads.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic recently reported that there has “always been a little smoke” regarding Golden State’s interest in Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, and they could look to pursue him.
The 24-year-old Gordon’s future with Orlando has been up in the air for some time now, with rumors of him being available and unavailable through trade depending on the time of day.
The Warriors indeed have a $17.2 million trade exception from last year’s Andre Iguodala trade, which they must use by October 24th or it will not be valid. Scouting their options before that deadline is undoubtedly an intriguing move, but eyeing Gordon seems questionable.
The forward’s production has dipped significantly yearly since signing his lucrative $80 million extension to begin 2018-19, going from a career-best 17.6 points per game in 2017-18 to 16.0 points the following year, and 14.4 points per game this season.
A prominent reason for Gordon’s regressed production comes as a result of Orlando’s jam-packed frontcourt. With the forward sharing time alongside Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Isaac, Mo Bamba, Khem Birch, and Al-Farouq Aminu, the Magic’s talent upfront is far from scarce.
A fresh start elsewhere might not be a bad idea for Gordon, but the fit in Golden State is far from ideal. In fact, it might be reminiscent of the forward’s current predicament in Orlando.
With Draymond Green and Eric Paschall already occupying Golden State’s power forward vacancy, Aaron Gordon does not fit in. Green is certainly not going anywhere anytime soon, given that he is the heart and soul of the team, and most importantly, their defensive anchor.
Moving Paschall would be a more likely option, but given his stellar rookie campaign and willingness to come off the bench, he seems like the better fit moving forward.
This situation would seem reminiscent of the entire D’Angelo Russell debacle from last offseason when the team brought him aboard when the fit was questionable and then traded him just months later.
It might make sense it Golden State acquired Gordon in an attempt to flip him for a more suitable player as they did in the D’Angelo Russell/Andrew Wiggins trade, but their intentions remain unknown.
An Aaron Gordon trade would be a bad move for the Golden State Warriors.
Gordon is by no means a bad player, he just does not fit the mold of what the team needs at this moment if they are looking to keep him.
Perhaps Golden State could look elsewhere at a player like Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers, who could potentially be on his way out soon with the emergence of All-Star Domantas Sabonis.
While there is no confirmation there, a move like that to land a solidified center would be monumentally better than overloading at the power forward position.
Even if their rumored interest in Gordon is still there, they now might not get the chance to trade for him, given the unfortunate circumstances of Jonathan Isaac’s ACL injury.
For an Orlando Magic team looking to contend rather than rebuild, they now might hang onto their best option at power forward with Isaac sidelined for the remainder of this season and likely the entirety of 2020-21.
Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report writes that it might even be an idea for the Golden State Warriors to let the trade exception expire, rather than take advantage of it by the October 24th deadline.
“The Warriors don’t have time to wait for the Magic to map out their offseason plans. They need to strike quickly with the exception, assuming the team is willing to add more salary amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic makes it more possible the Warriors could allow the exception to expire rather than increase their tax bill.”
While everything surrounding Aaron Gordon and the Warriors is just rumored at the moment, he should not be atop their list of targets to pursue this offseason.