Celtics Trade Target: Pros, Cons Of Potential Deal For Aaron Gordon

It's a mixed bag as it pertains to the forward


Mar 19, 2021

After underachieving in the first half of the 2020-21 season, must the Boston Celtics make a splash before the March 25 trade deadline to boost their NBA Finals prospects?

Rumors have linked a number of players in potential trades to Boston. We’ll examine a few possible Celtics trade targets and offer a verdict on whether the team should make the move. Next up: Aaron Gordon

Let’s be honest: This hasn’t been the season Aaron Gordon or the Orlando Magic wanted.

At 13-27, Orlando is two games above the last-place Pistons, and Gordon has played in just 20 of those games because of an ankle injury. The forward played in just one of the Magic’s last 18 games, during which he collected just nine points and two rebounds in just shy of 14 minutes.

Before the injury, he was having a fairly typical season. Gordon had just four single-figure games through the first 19 he played and was averaging 13.6 points per contest on 42.5 percent shooting. He’s been a solid member of Orlando’s roster in the seven years since the Magic took him with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Now, the annual trade deadline is right around the corner. Gordon could prove helpful (if healthy) in several markets if the Magic are willing to move him.

But is he right for a team like the Boston Celtics? Let’s see if Gordon’s risks outweigh his benefits.


Age: 25
Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 235 pounds
2020 Stats: 13.6 PPG, 7 REB, 4 AST, .9 BLK, .7 STL, 42.5 FG%, 36.5 3FG%
Contract Status: Gordon is in the third season of the four-year, $80 million deal he signed with the Magic in 2018. He’s making $18 million this season and is owed just under $16.5 million in the final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2021-22 season.

When Gordon is on, he’s on. Perhaps Boston would benefit from a boost in the charisma department as a shot in the arm of sorts. (And if you’re unsure if Gordon actually can provide that, just check out his dunk over Tacko Fall during the NBA’s 2020 Dunk Contest.)

His contract is pretty team-friendly, too. The Celtics likely wouldn’t have to part with a franchise player in order to get him, either. If Boston picks the right pieces, it could be one of the more successful teams at the deadline.

Naturally, that ankle injury is a major concern. The Celtics already have injury problems of their own, especially in Kemba Walker, and COVID-19 has added an extra layer of doubt. The uncertainly this brings is a bit unsettling.

Additionally, Gordon’s numbers have slowly declined following the 2017-18 season, when he averaged 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds on 14.9 shots per game. Of course, this year’s numbers likely are in part to his 15-game absence. His production seems to be down in large part due to him not getting nearly as many shots up, averaging roughly four fewer field-goal attempts per game compared to his breakout 2017-18 season.

Gordon might have been a better pickup during the 2020 offseason, but it’s probably not the best idea to go for him right now. He simply isn’t playing to his fullest potential at the moment (understandably so with the injury issues) and the last thing the Celtics need is possible dead weight.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images
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