Bob Myers’ cell phone is probably buzzing nonstop as Thursday’s noon PT NBA trade deadline approaches.
The Warriors are expected to be buyers, sitting at 22-21 and fighting to get into the Western Conference’s top six seeds to avoid the play-in round.
Kevin O’Connor reported Sunday for The Ringer that the Warriors are one of several teams who have reached out to the Orlando Magic about explosive forward Aaron Gordon. O’Connor also reported the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers expressed interest, citing sources.
“Portland is an ideal fit for Gordon,” O’Connor wrote. “The former No. 4 overall pick has proved to be an effective and versatile defender when he’s locked in (like he was during Orlando’s push for the playoffs in 2019). He’d allow the Blazers to utilize small-ball lineups wherein he could focus on screening for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
“This could unleash a new dimension to his game -- as a bouncy version of Draymond Green, thriving on the roll as a finisher or as a playmaker. Golden State could use Gordon in Draymond’s actual role.”
It’s unclear if the Warriors just made an exploratory call or are seriously pursuing Gordon, but Golden State would clearly have to give up something to get the high-flying 25-year-old. For what it’s worth, O’Connor also reported that the Warriors are “shopping” Kelly Oubre Jr. as the trade deadline nears.
Gordon and Oubre offer some similar qualities with their above-the-rim athleticism, 3-point shooting capabilities and rangy defensive ability. The Warriors need some frontcourt depth, and 6-foot-8 Gordon could is an intriguing small-ball center possibility who could space the floor, as his 41.1 percent 3-point shooting is a career best.
Aside from Oubre Jr., the Warriors also have other trade chips to dangle like the Minnesota Timberwolves’ top-three protected pick and Jordan Poole.
But O’Connor’s logic for the Warriors to use Gordon in Green’s role might have some flaws with the way Green’s game has evolved over time. Green has turned into a pass-first forward and his 8.5 assists per game are more than double Gordon’s 4.1, which are actually his career high.
They're similar in terms of their abilities to guard multiple positions, but Green and Gordon are probably an apple and an orange when it comes to their offensive games at this point. But Gordon is an attractive orange who has never played beyond the first round of the playoffs in his seven NBA seasons. Perhaps adding him to a winning culture like the Warriors could help him bring the Bay Area native's game to another level.