While the Orlando Magic were pursuing a rebuild, the organization let a number of key players go to make a fresh start. Aaron Gordon was traded to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and a first round pick. The Magic have struggled with injuries and several rotations this season. After the franchise had only made the playoffs twice in nine seasons, there was nothing left to do but go in a new direction.
Gordon has continued to develop his game into a complete hybrid attacker. He is able to put the ball on the ground to create opportunities for himself and his teammates. Gordon’s season stats hover around 14.6 points per game and 6.6 rebounds. His scoring numbers may be lower than expected, but Gordon’s agility and ability to play the floor at all levels make him a favorite in the NBA.
With the Nuggets still in the hunt for a championship, Gordon’s acquisition will impact the team on both ends of the field. Leading up to the Western Conference Finals, Gordon brought his team optimism in hopes of becoming a potential Western Conference champion. There are several scenarios about how coach Mike Malone might use Gordon to play at the highest level for the Denver Nuggets.
Nuggets will race Gordon alongside jockey.
The duo of Jokic and Gordon could be a dominant frontcourt for teams. Both players can take the pressure off each other, as they can both create play for themselves and each other. Especially since Gordon is faster and more athletic than Jokic, Mike Malone should play in pick-and-roll situations. Although Paul Millsap is Denver’s starting offensive lineman, it would be ridiculous for Coach Malone to not put Gordon in the starting lineup.
Be the third star
The duo of Jokic and Jamal Murray was sensational to say the least. The two stars led Denver to a historic playoff run on the NBA bubble, which was then interrupted by the Los Angeles Lakers. In recent years, Denver has struggled to find its third regular player. Gary Harris, who was traded for Gordon, has been inconsistent offensively. Other players Michael Porter Jr. is still on his way to the NBA, but they have a bright future.
With eight seasons under his belt, that means Gordon knows what it takes to be a good NBA player. Two playoff seasons helped him become a great all-around player. If Gordon is eager to make his debut with the Nuggets, the team should expect him to become one of their leaders.
Becoming a defence anchor
Gordon may not be recognized as a defensive commodity in the NBA. But he often shows that he makes things phenomenally difficult for the attacking player. Gordon can potentially defend all five positions with his speed and size. If he wants to put pressure on other teams, he can stick to players like glue and often block shots.
With Gordon playing for a championship team, he should have more pressure on that side of the field. Although the Nuggets rank eighth in team defense, they are often inconsistent in their performance on that side of the field. If Gordon can be the player who sets the tone on defense every night, Denver has a very good chance of making the playoffs.