The Denver Nuggets came out of nowhere to jump the Celtics and pull-off a surprise deal to land Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic.
Pieces are being moved around the NBA ahead of today’s 3 p.m. EST trade deadline. Nikola Vucevic has just been sent to the Chicago Bulls and it looks like Orlando has decided to go into full rebuild mode in anticipation of moving Aaron Gordon as well. Since Gordon formally requested to be traded away from the team, there had been much speculation about where he might land.
Gordon was averaging 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season on an Orlando team that certainly won’t make the playoffs even with the Eastern Conference struggling the way it is. Now he’s headed to a championship-contending team and could possibly be a piece that helps them get over the top this summer.
Nuggets emerged as late favorites and landed Aaron Gordon
Of the teams that were expected to make a move on Gordon, the Nuggets were able to land him even after he expressed interest in joining the Celtics. According to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, Gordon wanted to be in Boston. Now, The Athletic’s Shams Charania is reporting that the deal is done and the deal is with Denver.
As more details emerge, it’ll be interesting to see if Denver was able to retain a reasonable amount of draft picks, as Orlando is now obviously in full tank mode. Right now, we know Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton and a first-round pick are headed to Orlando. The Magic are also sending forward Gary Clark back to Denver.
The Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, and Houston Rockets all missed out on a key piece. The Celtics will have to look back on this one and think about how they let another potentially fruitful piece fall through the cracks. They’ll make their peace with the pickup of Evan Fournier.