Celtics

Report: Aaron Gordon 'eager' to be traded to Celtics

Celtics

The Celtics have plenty of competition for Aaron Gordon, but it appears the Orlando Magic forward would welcome a trade to Boston.

Gordon "remains eager" to be traded to the Celtics ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, The Athletic's Jared Weiss reported Thursday morning.

The 25-year-old also would be on board with a trade to the Portland Trail Blazers or Denver Nuggets, according to Weiss, who added that Denver is "neck and neck" with the Celtics in the Gordon sweepstakes.

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Weiss also detailed Boston's desired trade terms for Gordon: a first-round draft pick and rookie Aaron Nesmith to Orlando, which would gain a $17 million traded player exception by the Celtics absorbing Gordon's 2020-21 contract.

That's in line with a report Wednesday that Boston had offered a first-rounder and a "young player" not named Marcus Smart in return for Gordon but was hesitant to include an additional first-round pick in the deal.

Would a first-rounder and Nesmith be enough to get a deal done? Weiss noted the Nuggets could offer Orlando a first-rounder, Gary Harris and rookie RJ Hampton, which could force the Celtics to up their offer.

 

Weiss also reported the C's could consider a larger deal that would send Smart and multiple draft picks to the Magic in return for Gordon and teammate Evan Fournier, who's averaging a career-high 19.7 points per game. A report Wednesday suggested Boston had yet to include Smart in trade discussions, however.

Forsberg: Should C's include Marcus Smart in a deal? It's complicated

Gordon is averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season with a career-high 37.5% 3-point rate and could be the spark the 21-23 Celtics need to snap out of their current funk. The seven-year veteran is an athletic playmaker and versatile defender who could take some of the scoring pressure off Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

But Danny Ainge must decide whether Gordon is worth using nearly all of the team's TPE during a season in which the C's look nothing like a playoff contender. The bottom line: It sounds like Gordon is getting dealt one way or the other.