Boston Celtics make offer for Orlando Magic star Aaron Gordon

How an Aaron Gordon trade to the Denver Nuggets might look
Dec 18, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) shoots against the Denver Nuggets in the second half at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a decent chance that Orlando Magic star forward Aaron Gordon will be moved ahead of the NBA trade deadline. If so, the Boston Celtics make sense.

It was reported earlier this week that Gordon, 25, requested a trade from Orlando with his team in the midst of a disastrous season. He’s sick of losing and wants to join a contending team.

In turn, the Celtics are facing some major pressure to make a trade with the team currently boasting a 21-22 record after earning a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals a season ago. It seems to be a match made in heaven. Aaron Gordon to the Boston Celtics in a blockbuster trade.

According to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, the Celtics have already made a trade offer to Orlando for the talented and still-young forward. Said offer includes a first-round pick and an unnamed young player. Murphy goes on to note that Boston would like to avoid adding a second first-round pick in any package for Gordon before Thursday afternoon’s deadline.

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Is Aaron Gordon a fit with the Boston Celtics?

Aaron Gordon trade to the Boston Celtics
Jan 31, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (right) drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) during the first quarter at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It was noted recently that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is looking for someone who can play both forward spots and provide the scoring they are missing following the departure of Gordon Hayward.

While Gordon has primarily played the four with Orlando, he does have the ability to man the small forward position at times. In reality, mixing it up with Gordon and Jayson Tatum in the frontcourt would make a lot of sense. It also helps that this would not be a rental. Gordon is under contract for the 2021-22 season with a pretty team-friendly $16.1 million cap hit.

The idea would be for Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown to team up in the backcourt. Gordon and Tatum would do their thing at the two forward positions with Marcus Smart coming off the bench. While this doesn’t solve the center issue in Boston, that’s something Ainge could potentially address via the buyout market.

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How would an Aaron Gordon trade to the Boston Celtics look?

Celtics trade: Aaron Gordon: Boston Celtics
Jan 15, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) dribbles the ball down the court against Boston Celtics forward Aaron Nesmith (26) during the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

That’s the million-dollar question. It’s all about the market for a player who clearly wants out of dodge and has a preference to play for a contender. This would seemingly eliminate two interested teams in the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets, the two worst squads in the Western Conference.

The Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets are two other teams who seem to be in on an Aaron Gordon trade. Golden State is a bottom-end playoff contender out west while the Nuggets are looking like a real championship contender after some early-season struggles. This is the market dynamic when it comes to a potential Gordon trade to Boston. But here’s one real hypothetical.

  • Celtics get: Aaron Gordon
  • Magic get: Aaron Nesmith, Tristan Thompson, Javonte Green, future first-round pick, future second-round pick

It will be hard for Ainge to move off rookie first-round pick Aaron Nesmith. But he has to be seen as a priority for Orlando in any potential deal for Gordon. The Magic are going to want a young, high-upside player. Nesmith could fit into that role at either the two or the three. As for the rest heading back to Orlando, it’s all about cap fillers as well as draft pick assets.

A move of this ilk would not necessarily impact Boston’s depth. Sure moving Thompson hurts in the frontcourt. But he has not been great in his first season with the Celtics. There’s also some rumors of a rift between the veteran forward and his teammates. Moving him to land a potential star in Gordon makes sense.