NBA Free Agency Watch: Aaron Gordon Is Staying With The Orlando Magic
Once the Pacers made their move with Dougie McBuckets, that pretty much killed any chance that Aaron Gordon would not be playing with the Orlando Magic next season. Their front office was very vocal about wanting to keep Gordon, and their willingness to pay whatever the cost might be in order to make that happen. The fact that it took $21M a year sounds about right given the fact that Gordon is a high potential player who is only 22 and in my opinion hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of what he’s capable of. Last year was our first look at his improved outside shot, something he shot 33% on the year making 2.0 a game. It’ll be interesting to see how that develops moving forward, but more importantly this now gives some stability to the Gordon/Isaaac/Bamba/Vucevic front court. That’s a young frontline for sure, but the talent is there in spades. If I had to guess if things pan out with Isaac and Bamba we’ll see ORL try and move Vucevic at the deadline. The Magic are a tough market that isn’t going to be a hot bed for NBA free agents anytime soon, so it’s important that when they have a “franchise guy” that they are able to hold onto him for as long as possible.
This is one of those moves where it was a no brainer by everyone involved, and it’ll be interesting to see how this resets the market for other RFAs like Zacvh LeVine and Marcus Smart. This is the 5th largest contract given out so far this summer, and other than Jokic who is 23, every other player who’s been paid big money so far is no younger than 28. To me this is a big win for the Magic because they get to keep their best player, a win for Gordon because he gets a 3x raise and will hit the market again at 27, plenty young for another max deal if things go well.
Take another big time name off the board, it makes you wonder who’s next.