Aaron Gordon was a mid-season trade acquisition for the Denver Nuggets during the 2020-21 NBA season. After a poor run of games against the Phoenix Suns, Gordon will be hoping to bounce back strong this season.
The Nuggets will be hoping for the same thing as they look to integrate their third star into their game plan and start the season strong. However, should Gordon fail to live up to the expectations on his shoulders, the Denver Nuggets could be tempted to explore trade talks around the deadline.
As things stand right now, Gordon will have every opportunity to cement his role on the roster as he helps fill the void left by Jamal Murray’s absence through injury. But should the San Jose native fail to perform, the Denver Nuggets could very well begin exploring trades in the hope of recouping some assets before Gordon hits free agency in the summer.
Most NBA teams have their rosters set up ready for the start of the new season; however, a player with Aaron Gordon’s skill set could be enticing to multiple teams around the league. In acquiring Aaron Gordon, the Denver Nuggets gave up promising young player R.J. Hampton, the ever-impressive Gary Harris, and a protected 2025 first-round pick.
Keeping what Denver gave up in mind, it makes sense that they will be looking at a similar return should they choose to explore any trade.
Here are three teams who could be players in a hypothetical Aaron Gordon sweepstakes
Denver Nuggets: 3 teams who could trade for Aaron Gordon mid-season: The Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics currently hold a $17 million trade exception from Evan Fournier’s sign-and-trade to the New York Knicks. Until recently, the Celtics’ biggest weakness has been at the power forward position. Despite the team strengthening there with a trade for Juancho Hernangomez, the position still projects the Celtics Achilles heel.
Boston has a plethora of young, high-upside talent and some reliable veterans on short-term deals, making them an ideal trade partner in any potential Aaron Gordon discussions. Factor in that Gordon’s $16.4 million salary fits into the Celtics TPE, and the team becomes one of the front runners in any discussions.
Boston’s ability to avoid salary matching while also offering both young and veteran players in any deal could entice the Denver Nuggets. Essentially, the Mile High City front office would be able to take back something similar to what they originally gave up last season, and the prospect of Denver creating their own trade exception shouldn’t be dismissed lightly.
The Celtics have recently undergone somewhat of a makeover, and they may be willing to part with an asset or two for a player of Gordon’s caliber. It’s also safe to assume they would feel confident in convincing Gordon to stay beyond this season.