The Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets are progressing toward a deal surrounding PF Aaron Gordon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday afternoon. The Magic have already shipped off All-Star C Nikola Vucevic and G Evan Fournier in separate deals with the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics, respectively. Gordon appears to be the third big piece to fall as the NBA Trade Deadline approaches at 3 p.m. ET.
Update: Terms of the deal have been agreed upon, per Woj. Gary Harris is reportedly apart of the deal. The Magic are also acquiring 2020 first-round pick RJ Hampton and a 2025 protected first-round pick, per Woj.
Denver and Orlando have agreed on the Aaron Gordon deal, sources tell ESPN. Among the players on the way to Orlando: Gary Harris.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
Gordon to the Nuggets is growing close, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Other teams who were in on Gordon include the Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets, which is a bit surprising (the last two at least). We had heard reports the Portland Trail Blazers were also considering going after Gordon to add to the front court. It seems some teams are willing to wait and see how the buyout market forms around LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Drummond.
With Denver getting Gordon, they have another athletic forward to pair with Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. This season, Gordon is averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. He's also shooting 43.7% from the field and 37.9% from the three-point range. He can defend multiple positions on the floor, which will play a huge for the Nuggs, especially if they want to make a deep postseason run.
In the process of acquiring Gordon, they did have to give up Gary Harris and rookie point guard RJ Hampton. Harris has battled through injury this season and struggled to return to his 2017-18 form. When healthy, he will give the Magic another scorer.
However, the best part of this deal for Orlando is getting Hampton. The rookie has not played much this season, but showed flashes of promise last season in the NBL with the New Zealand Breakers. He will be joining a Magic team that already has young guards in Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony. But with both players sidelined due to injury, he could see immediate playing time.