The Boston Celtics' trade talks with the Orlando Magic involving Aaron Gordon appear to be gaining momentum.
Gordon has been one of the most popular names mentioned in trade rumors ahead of Thursday's deadline. A number of teams, including the Celtics, reportedly have shown "serious" interest in the Magic forward.
Apparently, Danny Ainge and the C's have made an offer that puts them ahead of the pack in the Gordon sweepstakes. Matt Moore of The Action Network reported Monday that the Celtics are "frontrunners" to land the 25-year-old in a deal that would also bring Evan Fournier to Boston.
Here are the details:
Boston, multiple sources confirmed, has offered two first-round picks. No other teams on the board have yet to reach that offer level. It’s not known yet what types of protections are attached to those talks but there is an assumption there will be some, if not significant, protections on the first-rounders.
Additionally, the framework involves Evan Fournier going to Boston, with the Celtics sending a player, the two picks, and using their Traded Player Exception from the Gordon Hayward trade.
As to the player, negotiations continue with the Magic preferring Marcus Smart while Boston is reluctant to part with their longtime emotional heartbeat and All-Defensive Team guard.
Moore adds that the Magic are expected to take offers up until Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Not only do the C's seem interested in Gordon, but the feeling also appears to be mutual. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports reports Boston is at the top of Gordon's list of preferred destinations.
Since the Celtics' $28.5 million traded player exception can only fit one of Gordon or Fournier, they'd have to use the TPE to acquire one of those players while matching salary with the other. That means Marcus Smart and/or Tristan Thompson may have to be involved to make the deal work financially.
Gordon is averaging 14.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game this season and shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range. Fournier has 19.1 points per game and is shooting 45.4 percent from the floor.