Trail Blazers

Aaron Gordon reportedly requests trade, was nearly traded to Blazers

Trail Blazers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One of the league's most enticing wing players may be on the move.

Aaron Gordon has requested a trade from the Orlando Magic, according to a report from Jared Weiss and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

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The 25-year old forward had been linked to the Trail Blazers earlier this season by Shams Charania of The Athletic, who listed Portland along with Minnesota as teams showing interest at the time. 

[RELATED]: Blazers reportedly among teams interested in Aaron Gordon

Monday, Charania reported the Blazers, along with Houston, Minnesota, and Denver, have shown interest in Gordon. 

Weiss and Amick reported league sources told them Portland and Orlando were "at the finish line" for a deal surrounding Aaron Gordon last offseason before the Magic backed out. The Blazers used a similar package, two first-round picks, to land Robert Covington instead. 

However, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reports that "talks have diminished between Orlando and the Portland Trail Blazers."

 

Haynes adds: "Any team that seeks a trade for the Orlando Magic versatile forward would prefer to have some assurances that Gordon would agree to an extension, sources said. This could decrease the trade options for Orlando. Gordon, 25, is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2022."

Orlando has "an asking price of multiple first-round picks or a pick with a good young player" for Gordon, who made it clear to the organization he wants to move on and play for a winning franchise. 

The Blazers own all of their outstanding first-round picks besides this upcoming draft, which is owed to Houston while being lottery-protected. Trading any first round picks for Aaron Gordon midseason would require sending a 2023 first, or later, due to the Stepien rule. It would be defined as a first round pick sent two seasons after the Houston pick conveys, which is almost certainly going to be next draft. 

Gordon has another full season remaining after this current one on his current 4-year, $88.2 million deal with a 2020-21 salary of $18,136,364. He will hit unrestricted free agency at 26 years old and is expected to fetch a max salary of $36.4 million per season on his next contract. 

The Arizona product is averaging 14.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists in just 22 games this season.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported an agreement between the Magic and Timberwolves was apparently about to be finalized in early February. It was a deal that involved swapping Gordon for Ricky Rubio and draft capital. But Gordon turned his ankle, derailing the deal.

Now, Boston is reportedly trying to acquire the forward using the Gordon Hayward trade exception.

Portland has always been tight-lipped about the roster moves. Rarely do we find out things before they happen, so take the Gordon-Blazers news with a grain of salt but with him wanting out of Orlando, maybe there's fire where the smoke is, too.