The Orlando Magic have been making the right moves for a while now, but their recent acquisition of Aaron Gordon is further proof that they are finally on the right track.
Aaron Gordon’s new deal with the Orlando Magic is further proof that the team is finally making all the right moves.
Aaron Gordon has agreed to re-sign with the Denver Nuggets for a four-year, $92 million deal extension. Last season, the seven-year veteran was moved from the Orlando Magic to the Mile High City. Orlando got R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris, and a 2025 first-round pick in exchange. The Magic’s decision to tear apart a squad that had peaked out at mediocre at best wasn’t the only move they made at last year’s trade deadline, as the club doubled down on its decision to blow up a team that had topped out at ordinary at best. But the fact that Gordon agreed to a new contract to remain in Denver and that Orlando wasn’t forced to re-sign their previous first-round selection is additional evidence that the team is finally making the right decisions.
The business has made a number of moves in the last six months that will put it back in the near term but give it some optimism in the long run.
Aaron Gordon, a former Orlando Magic star, has agreed to a new contract with the Denver Nuggets.
Aaron Gordon, a forward with the Denver Nuggets, has agreed to a four-year, $92 million contract deal with the team, according to his agent Calvin Andrews of Klutch Sports. Gordon has a player option for the 2025-26 season as part of the deal.
September 14, 2021 — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania)
Gordon’s new contract will keep him in Denver at least through the 2024-25 season. The Nuggets were basically obliged to re-sign the Arizona product after giving up an expiring deal, a young prospect, and a potential first-round selection.
Gordon, on the other hand, has never lived up to his promise, and the Magic lucked out by not having to re-sign the No. 4 overall selection in the 2014 draft.
Orlando selected the now 25-year-old with the hopes of developing him become the franchise’s superstar. Gordon, on the other hand, never lived up to the expectations. Gordon started 314 games in six seasons with Orlando before being traded to Denver, averaging 12.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. He only made 32 percent of his three-point attempts.
He scored 12.7 points per game after joining the Nuggets, but he still shot a below-average 32.1 percent from three-point range. The Nuggets are hoping Gordon will join Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic as their third star, but seven years of evidence show he isn’t that guy.
Over the next four years, Denver will have to pay him more than $20 million each season.
Last year, the Orlando Magic pressed the reset button, and Gordon’s new contract is more proof that they made the correct choice.
During the 2021 Western Conference Playoffs, Aaron Gordon of the Denver Nuggets speaks with a referee. | Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
Last year, the Magic traded Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter, and a 2023 first-round selection. Carter struggled in Chicago, but he’ll get another chance in Orlando. Porter Jr.’s contract expired, and he’s now a member of the Golden State Warriors, with the Magic receiving a second-round selection in exchange.
At last year’s deadline, Orlando dealt Evan Fournier to Boston in exchange for Jeff Teague, who was later released.
After Harris’ contract expires at the end of the current season, Orlando’s largest contract will be Jonathan Issac’s $17.4 million salary. In 2022-23, the team will have $54 million in cap space and will control all of its draft choices, including the Bulls’ 2023 first-rounder and Denver’s 2025 first-rounder. Because the Magic are unlikely to be competitive in the coming seasons, their first-round selections should be at the top of the lottery.
The team has previously landed point guard Jalen Suggs and versatile big Franz Wagner in the 2021 draft (Wagner with the other first-round pick Orlando got in the Vucevic trade). Jamahl Mosley was also appointed as the Magic’s new head coach. Mosley has a history in player development and oversaw Dallas’ defense last season, when he was a favorite of Luka Doncic.
The 42-year-old first-time head coach now has a youthful core to work with that complements his skills. He can put his player development talents to work with a young squad that includes Issac, Suggs, Wagner, and Chuma Okeke, the club’s 2020 first-round selection. Markelle Fultz will be the Magic’s oldest player assured to remain on the roster following next season. In 2022-23, Fultz will play in his sixth NBA season at the age of 24.
Orlando is finally moving in the right way with the franchise.
In the past nine seasons, the Magic have only reached the playoffs twice. Since 2009-10, Orlando hasn’t advanced beyond the first round. Since then, the club has made a valiant attempt to stay in playoff contention, but has yet to taste postseason success, putting itself at the bottom of the draft lottery in the process.
Gordon and Vucevic, two stalwarts, have already gone on. Orlando has six first-round selections and more than $50 million in salary space over the next four years to go along with a youthful squad and a new head coach.
The organization is finally making the proper choices to put the club on a road to long-term success after years of toiling in mediocrity.
Basketball-Reference provided all statistics, while Spotrac provided contract information.
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