Aaron Gordon reportedly wants the Magic to trade him.
But not just anywhere.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Houston Rockets players were under the impression a few days ago that a trade for Gordon was close to being finalized and a last-minute hiccup killed the deal, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Gordon has no desire to be traded to a team in a rebuild and is only interested in joining a team that has the potential to make a playoff run, sources said.
One key party with knowledge of the talks disputed that it nearly reached the point of completion. It would have likely involved Victor Oladipo. However, any team that seeks a trade for the Orlando Magic versatile forward would prefer to have some assurances that Gordon would agree to an extension, sources said.
With another season on his contract after this, Gordon has limited ability to control where he gets traded.
But offering to sign an extension is one way he can influence the process.
If traded, the largest extension Gordon could sign this season is one year, $17,229,546. That’d be a massive bargain. Any team that he’d extend with would have even more reason to pry him from Orlando. (Correction: Because he is not on an expiring contract, Gordon cannot sign an extension during the season.)
This offseason, Gordon will become eligible for a four-year, $88,215,273 extension ($22,053,818 per season). That also looks team-friendly. Most, if not all, teams considering trading for Gordon would probably prefer him on that extension to taking their chances with 2022 unrestricted free agency. Gordon could signal certain teams an intent to sign that extension once eligible in the offseason – giving them more reason to make the Magic a suitable offer.
With play-in games giving more teams a path to the playoffs, it won’t be hard for Gordon to find a team with a postseason chance. Orlando and Houston are two of the few teams outside the race.
Most teams trading for Gordon would covet his contributions the rest of this season, anyway. That’s the main reason he could hold more value to another team than to the Magic.