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Using trade exception to acquire Aaron Gordon needs consideration

The Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon was taken fourth-overall in the 2014 NBA draft, two spots before Boston picked Marcus Smart at #6. I felt at the time that Danny Ainge would have taken Gordon with the sixth pick if the 6'8" power forward was still on the board. Well now, with a $28.5 million trade exception in his hands, it may be time to consider adding the super-athletic wing. Here's why:

Brad Stevens feels you can't have enough mid-sized wings

Brad Stevens does not favor the "little guys" because they often get mis-matched on defense by taller opponents. He also is not fond of the old-school, big centers. In his mind, they just can't be effective on his switching, perimeter defensive strategies.

Gordon's salary fits the trade exception

Aaron is set to earn $18.1 million this season and $16.4 million in the 2021-22 season. His salary was front-loaded, and that relatively-low $16.1 million figure kicks in when Jayson Tatum's max contract goes into effect.

Aaron fills the void left by Gordon Hayward's departure

Last season, Hayward averaged 33.5 MPG, 17.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 4.1 APG - not that much different from Aaron's numbers (32.5 MPG, 14.4 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.7 APG). Aaron may not have Hayward's ball-handling skills or his craftiness, but he might fill that void and accept his role as a third-or-fourth option.

This may finally bring the all-wing lineup Stevens craves

We have to realize that the much-liked Kemba Walker may finally be succumbing to the long, hard grind of an NBA career. His knees are a concern. I see Boston's core as the Jay team and Marcus Smart. Although Smart may not be a typical point guard, he's not a typical anything. He is undefinable, but in Brad's systems, he fits at the PG spot. Put 6'8" Aaron Gordon out there with a mix of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Daniel Theis, Tristan Thompson and Smart, and Brad has the 6'3"-6'9" mix that he favors. 

Here's another argument for picking up Gordon (via Boston.Com's Conor Roche)

For options along the wing, Magic forward Aaron Gordon presents an enticing possibility for the Celtics to add to their perimeter depth. Gordon has put up solid numbers in Orlando over his six-year career but has never broken through to become a star player. With two years left on his deal and making $18.1 million this season, the Celtics can get Gordon without having to move other salary and would still have $10 million left on the exception.

I rest my case! 


  1. I never thought that Gordon would be a good fit with the Celtics until I read your piece. You’ve convinced me. Let’s see if;
    a) Danny wants to make it happen
    b) Orlando is interested

    Could be an awesome pickup.

    1. I just think he hasn't yet peaked & fits nicely.

  2. Couldn't agree more. The kid would fit in great here. Danny needs to get this done.

    1. This deal would be at the very-high end (money-wise) that Ainge will try for. Barring any "deal-of-the-decade, of course. Danny is so unpredictable, God knows what he will come up with. But I have liked this kid, and I still feel Danny would have taken him, even over Smart, if he lasted to #6 in the draft.


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