With only one day left until the NBA trade deadline hits, there are still plenty of teams who will be scrambling to make a deal before that window closes in hopes of bolstering their squad ahead of the playoffs.
The Portland Trail Blazers are currently sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference, winning four of their last six games although they’ve lost their last two in a row. Damian Lillard has been a godsend for Portland as he’s on track for his best season yet, averaging 30.1 points per game while adding 7.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds. He’s shooting an impressive 45.2 percent from the field and 94.1 percent from the line — his best free throw percentage of his career.
Lillard isn’t the only solid player on the team. They’ve also got guys like CJ McCollum, Gary Trent Jr, and Carmelo Anthony who have all done a great job on both offense and defense. Enes Kanter has been huge at the center spot, averaging a staggering 11.7 rebounds per game, which is good for sixth in the league.
The Blazers could easily make a deep run into the playoffs, but they’re still looking for another piece to help them get there. While rumors have been floating around all over the place, one player’s rumors have come with the most weight.
Trail Blazers Top Target: Aaron Gordon
According to a report from Jared Weiss and Sam Amick of The Athletic, Aaron Gordon officially requested a trade from the Orlando Magic just days before the NBA trade deadline.
Aaron Gordon has formally requested a trade from the Orlando Magic, sources tell @sam_amick & me. A deep dive his trade market, the Celtics’ pursuit of John Collins & how Marcus Smart and Bogdan Bogdanovic could be involved.— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) March 22, 2021
NEW @TheAthleticNBA https://t.co/5PEqOav4DA
Not only does this bode well for teams going after the 25-year-old power forward, but he was almost sent to Portland during the offseason in a trade that didn’t quite make it to the surface, and the Blazers ultimately picked up Robert Covington instead when the Magic got cold feet. But now the rumors have heated up again and it seems as though the Trail Blazers are among the favorites as far as a new destination for Gordon.
The 6’8” Gordon has been solid for the Magic this year, averaging 14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. His defensive rebounds have heavily outweighed the boards on the offensive side, while he’s averaged 5.0 defensive rebounds per game all season. That would put him fourth in defensive boards on the Blazers behind Kanter, Covington, and Nurkic. Combine that with his 14.4 points per game which puts him ahead of both Covington and Carmelo Anthony this season, and the Blazers would have themselves a well-rounded power forward to insert in their lineup.
It won’t be easy for Portland to get this done though — they’ll have some competition from other teams who are also interested such as the Rockets, the Timberwolves, and the Nuggets. The Blazers could sweeten the deal with some first round picks starting in 2023, so if the price is right for Orlando, Aaron Gordon could see himself in the black and red very soon should this trade deal come to fruition.