The Trail Blazers are among the teams showing interest in Aaron Gordon, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who says the Magic have been open to listening to calls about the veteran forward. The Timberwolves have also been linked to Gordon multiple times since the 2020 offseason, and Charania indicates that Minnesota remains interested.
Gordon is dealing with an ankle sprain that has limited him to just one game since the start of February. He returned to action on Thursday, but logged just 14 minutes and has sat out the last two games due to “injury management.” If he’s healthy, the 25-year-old would be an intriguing fit on a Blazers squad that features star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, as well as center Jusuf Nurkic.
Presumably, a Blazers offer would start with Rodney Hood‘s expiring $10MM+ contract for salary-matching purposes (Hood’s salary for 2021/22 is non-guaranteed). Portland would need about an additional $3MM in outgoing salary to sufficiently match Gordon’s $18MM+ cap hit, but would probably like to send out even more than that to avoid going into tax territory. That would make Enes Kanter ($5MM) a possible trade candidate, though he has had a nice season.
The Magic, meanwhile, would likely target young players like Gary Trent Jr., Nassir Little, Anfernee Simons, and CJ Elleby — some of those prospects would be more available than others, from Portland’s perspective. The Blazers would also be able to offer any first-rounders starting with their 2023 selection, since they’ve traded away their 2021 pick.
If Portland looks to upgrade its frontcourt without giving up multiple assets, LaMarcus Aldridge would be an option. According to Charania, the Blazers, Heat, and Celtics are considered the top contenders for Aldridge if he receives a buyout, though the Spurs remain focused on finding a trade.