In recent days, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon has seemingly become the top target for the Boston Celtics as the NBA trade deadline approaches. However, the former No. 4 overall pick was said to be having second thoughts about his trade request on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, Orlando will undoubtedly do what is in its best interest before the deadline hits at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday. And that may include parting ways with the playmaking big man.
For Celtics fans who have latched onto the Gordon chatter, there is still hope that he will end up in Boston, too.
In fact, the latest trade intel from The Athletic’s Jared Weiss has indicated that Gordon would welcome a move to Beantown.
Gordon ‘Eager’ for Celtics Trade
According to Weiss — and in spite of whatever misgivings he might have over his decision to request a trade earlier this week — Gordon still wants to end up with the Celtics.
From Weiss’ report:
“Whatever the Celtics end up doing over the next several hours, regardless of whether Aaron Gordon has regrets about his trade request, there is one thing for certain: Gordon remains eager to be traded to Boston, sources tell The Athletic.”
He also noted that Gordon is open to deals that would send him to the Denver Nuggets or the Portland Trail Blazers. Other teams are undoubtedly intrigued by him as well. So, it would seem that Celtics GM Danny Ainge will have stiff competition if he intends to make a serious play for the 25-year-old.
Proposed Gordon Deals
In his write-up, Weiss proposes some packages that each of the mentioned teams can offer for Gordon.
He posits that Boston’s desired package would be rookie Aaron Nesmith, a first-round pick and a $17 million traded player exception (TPE) that the Magic would create sending Gordon into Boston’s Gordon Hayward TPE.
He also noted, though, that the Nuggets can build a package consisting of Gary Harris, rookie RJ Hampton and a first-round pick, which could be enough to swing Gordon away from the Celtics.
In any case, the Magic will reportedly work on Gordon deals into the afternoon to ensure that they come away with the best possible deal (assuming they move him).
Gordon is averaging nearly 15 points and seven rebounds per game this season while connecting on a career-high 38 percent of his three-point shots.
Moving on from John Collins, Harrison Barnes?
The Celtics have also been linked to the Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins and Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings. And either man could be a difference-maker in Boston.
Collins is averaging 18 points, eight boards and 1.1 blocks per contest this season. He is also shooting 54 percent from the field, 37 percent from three-point range and 84 percent from the charity stripe.
At just 23, he may be the best long-term play for the Celtics.
Barnes, meanwhile, is putting up 16.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and nearly four assists per contest while posting shooting splits of 49-36-83. He is also on a deal with descending salary.
However, per The Athletic, those teams are looking less likely to move their respective players for fair-market value. Despite the Celtics’ struggles this season, Ainge probably isn’t looking to overpay for their services, either.