Column: Aaron Gordon finally had enough with the Orlando Magic

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Tyler Baker | The Daily Wildcat

Aaron Gordon goes up for a dunk in the second half of Arizona's 70-64 victory against SDSU at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Gordon played one season for the Wildcats before being drafted by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft.

One of the most anticipated days recently was the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, March 25. For many teams, the trade deadline is their last chance to improve their rosters to make a run in the playoffs. Many big trades were made but one hit close to home for the University of Arizona.

Former Arizona Wildcat Aaron Gordon was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Denver Nuggets along with forward Gary Clark. The Magic received shooting guard Gary Harris, point guard R.J. Hampton and Denver’s protected 2025 first-round pick. 

This deal was a steal for Denver, but it only happened because Gordon asked for a trade. Gordon was tired of the losing culture that surrounded Orlando. After being drafted fourth overall back in 2014, the Magic only made the playoffs twice and were eliminated each time in the first round. 

Gordon is only 25 years old, with a career stat line of 12.9 points per game, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Gordon also has shot 44.7% from the field and 32.3% from three-point range for his career. While these may not look like the most impressive numbers, keep in mind that Gordon has not had a superstar like Lebron James or Chris Paul next to him in his entire career. 

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Now that Gordon is in Denver, he will join superstar point guard Jamal Murray, power forward Michael Porter Jr. and, who some would argue is now the front runner for the MVP, power forward/center Nikola Jokic. 

Insert Gordon into this line-up and Gordon’s numbers are almost guaranteed to go up. Murray is averaging 21.1 points and 4.8 assists on the year, which means he will free up Gordon to get some good shots. Gordon also loves to drive to the rim and with Denver having so many outside shooters who draw double teams, Gordon is going to put up more highlight dunks than he usually does. 

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With so many things going well for the women’s basketball team at the UA, it will feel good for Arizona fans to see another Wildcat have an opportunity to chase their dream at a title. 

Gordon was loyal to the Magic for as long as he could be. He gave them seven years to put players around him. Gordon could have left after his rookie contract expired in 2018, but he gave them one last chance and signed a four-year, $80 million deal. With how the NBA works now and players having much more control, Gordon used that power and asked to leave. 

Arizona is rooting for you Gordon. Enjoy your time in Colorado and Bear Down.


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