Nuggets Make Monster Move
The Denver Nuggets were looking to make a big move at the NBA trade deadline, and they were able to find a trade partner in the Orlando Magic.
The Nuggets acquired forward Aaron Gordon from Orlando, and this is a player that will have a significant impact in the second half of the season.
The price tag to land Gordon wasn’t cheap, but it was a move that the Nuggets simply needed to make, especially as the Western Conference now appears to be wide open. Gary Clark was also sent to Denver as a part of this deal.
In return, the Magic received Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, and a protected first-round draft pick in 2025. Harris has had a disappointing season for the Nuggets, but losing Hampton could look bad in the coming years.
Gordon was expected to be traded on Thursday after he officially asked the team for a trade earlier in the week. It was unclear what set Gordon off, but he was looking to get out of Orlando as quickly as possible.
The Magic originally selected Gordon with the fourth overall draft pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but the team has had little success during his career. This year, Gordon is averaging 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and will likely slide into the starting rotation with the Nuggets.
Adding Clark was a nice bonus for the Nuggets, as he has started 11 games this season for Orlando. Clark is scoring just over three points per game, but he will provide some depth at the forward position in Denver.
Losing Harris is a big blow to the Nuggets defensively, but injuries have just not allowed him to blossom into the player that was expected. Hampton has played less than 10 minutes per game this season, but he should get more time in Orlando.
Magic Complete Fire Sale
The Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball are known for trading away several players at the trade deadline each year, but that strategy has now spilled over to Orlando. The Magic are having a very disappointing 2020-21 season, and it appears the team is looking to begin the rebuild.
Trading Gordon was expected, but the Magic shocked everyone by dealing All-Star center Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls. Vucevic was the face of the franchise in Orlando, but the Magic will now be looking for a new leader in the NBA Draft.
Chicago sent Otto Porter Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr. to the Magic in exchange for Vucevic, and the Bulls also sent some draft picks to Orlando. Chicago was extremely aggressive at the trade deadline, acquiring five new players.
The Bulls are not currently in a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but pairing Vucevic with Zach LaVine makes Chicago a real threat. Chicago has a new front office this season, and that group was widely praised for their work in acquiring talent.
The trade deadline on Thursday was filled with deals from around the league, but the Bulls and Nuggets were considered the two biggest winners.
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