The Golden State Warriors may couple their first-round pick and $17.2 million trade exception to bring in a top-tier player. Is Aaron Gordon that player?
The 2019-2020 season was a forgettable one for the Golden State Warriors.
They went just 15-50 and won’t be part of the league’s 22-team restart. While they may be thrilled not to be part of the resuming of play, the fact of the matter is that for the first time in over half a decade the NBA Finals won’t have the Warriors involved.
Much of that can be justified by extensive injuries to Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, but it doesn’t make it any better for Warriors’ fans. What will make things better is the fact that the team may be able to improve quite a bit this coming offseason.
They’ll have a guaranteed top-five first-round pick and then two exceptions to use, one being over $17 million. They could use the two together, bringing in a player like Marcus Smart or Aaron Gordon.
That said, the Magic star may be the quintessential target as the team reportedly likes him “a lot.”
“A 6-foot-8 combo forward with incredible bounce, the Bay Area native would immediately be the best athlete on the team. He’s also capable of playing sound defense against multiple positions while also producing points. Besides, the Warriors like him a lot,” NBC Sports’ Monte Poole wrote.
Gordon will be entering his seventh season next year. The fourth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Gordon still has room to grow but has certainly seen his play and opportunity decline as the Magic have seen others step up and contribute.
Gordon averaged 17.6 points per game during the 2017-2018 season. That has since dipped for consecutive seasons and is down to 14.4 points per game while his three-point shooting barely eclipses 30%.
The evolution of the Magic’s franchise hasn’t favored Gordon, but he’s certainly still a solid player. However, it’s still up in the air if he’s truly worth that first-round pick they’d likely have to give up to bring him in.
He would create a solid small-ball frontcourt with Draymond Green, but is the risk worth the reward for Golden State?