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Report: Pacers could sign Magic RFA Aaron Gordon to offer sheet

Aaron Gordon

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) goes up for a breakaway dunk in front of Indiana Pacers forward Thaddeus Young (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Thaddeus Young’s player-option decision looms over the Pacers’ offseason, but I’m not sure how much it would change their plans.

If Young opts out, Indiana’s starting power forward would be an unrestricted free agent and the Pacers would have about $33 million in cap space. If Young opts in, Indiana’s starting power forward would be on the wrong side of 30 and on an expiring contract and the Pacers would still have about $20 million cap space (assuming Al Jefferson gets stretched either way).

In both scenarios, a long-term solution at power forward would be important.

Maybe that’s Magic restricted free agent Aaron Gordon, a long-rumored Indiana target.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Gordon (22) would fit nicely in a young core with Victor Oladipo (26) and Myles Turner (22). Veterans like Darren Collison, Bojan Bogdanovic and maybe even Young could help the team win now, and the future would get even brighter.

But Orlando will reportedly match any offer sheet the restricted Gordon signs.

Sometimes, teams say that just to scare off other suitors and get the player more cheaply. Sometimes, teams say that because they really mean it.

Remember, Magic president Jeff Weltman inherited Gordon from the previous regime. There are political considerations here. Weltman took over a stuck team and has mostly bided his time – delaying judgment of himself. The more he puts his fingerprints on the roster, the sooner Weltman will face consequences for its performance. If he lets Gordon walk, Weltman can insist he needs more time to build up the team.

But Gordon is a good young player who has shown plenty of promise. It’d be a shame to lose him.

What will the Magic actually do if Gordon signs a large offer sheet? Indiana might force them to decide.