There are just a few more hours until Thursday afternoon's 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline, and most of the basketball world is focused on Orlando Magic star Aaron Gordon.
The 25-year-old forward is the best player rumored to be available before the deadline, and the Boston Celtics are one team with "serious interest" in acquiring him, per multiple reports.
They aren't alone in that interest, though.
The Denver Nuggets also are looking to trade for Gordon, and they have "emerged as the leading candidate" to get him, according to Bleacher Report's NBA insider Jake Fischer.
Fischer explains that the Nuggets' package "centered around Gary Harris, a first-rounder and one of Denver's young players (RJ Hampton, Zeke Nnaji and Bol Bol), seems to be gaining momentum as Wednesday turns into Thursday."
A report Wednesday suggested the Celtics are offering a first-round pick and a young player not named Marcus Smart in an attempt to acquire Gordon.
The Nuggets have more enticing young players than the Celtics do. Recent first-round picks made by Boston, including Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith and Grant Williams have not impressed much since being drafted. Langford hasn't even played yet this season due to injury and recently being placed in the COVID-19 protocols. Nesmith has appeared in half of Boston's 44 games as a rookie.
The Celtics' draft capital is better, though, as they own all of their future first-round picks. The Nuggets can trade their 2021 first-rounder, but because they already dealt their 2023 first-round selection last year, the Stepien Rule prohibits them from trading their 2022 and 2024 first-rounders.
The Magic would probably get a better first-round pick from the Celtics if they sent Gordon to Boston than if he was dealt to Denver. The Nuggets have a five-game lead over the C's in the league standings, and Denver's roster (with or without Gordon) is better overall.
Orlando reportedly traded All-Star center Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday in a blockbuster deal. Could Gordon be next to go? He's the player to watch as the deadline nears.