The Houston Rockets have reportedly been interested in trading for Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic. The 25-year-old power forward is enjoying the most efficient shooting season of his career, although in a limited role, and has been coveted by contenders to bolster a playoff run.
New Inside Pass – trade deadline edition – from NBA Insider @ShamsCharania:
◻️ Heat & 76ers lead pursuit of Kyle Lowry◻️ Magic & Rockets discuss Aaron Gordon for two first-round picks◻️ Hawks interested in Marcus Smart ◻️ Much more from Shams ⤵️ https://t.co/sM67sIMo1R
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 22, 2021
Gordon is an athletic marvel that has the potential to be an impact defensive player and a solid third option on offense. While this is not a franchise-altering package, he has the ability to be a core contributor to a playoff team.
The reported price for Gordon has been two first-round picks and the Rockets are not the only suitors. The most important thing in negotiations is the ability to walk away and the Rockets need to determine what their walk-away price will be with Gordon.
Houston Rockets: How much Aaron Gordon is worth
At the moment, the Boston Celtics are the rumored front runners and have built a package that would send Marcus Smart and two first-round picks back to Orlando for Gordon, Evan Fournier, and a third team to make all the salary math work. The Rockets, if they enter into a bidding war, could see Gordon’s price balloon.
Should the Rockets go all in and offer more than the Celtics? At face value, the Rockets shouldn’t give up two first-round picks to land Aaron Gordon because their first-round picks project to be much more valuable than any of the Celtics.
However, if the Rockets can move some of the first-round picks they’ve acquired through trades, such as the Trail Blazers’ 2021 first-round pick or the Milwaukee Bucks 2023 first, then the deal might be worth pushing through. As badly as the Rockets need talent they shouldn’t give up a tremendous amount of value to land a player with one more year left on their deal.
If the Rockets can land Gordon for one first-round pick or two of their lower value picks acquired through trades then that’s a trade worth making. However, if the Magic want more, then the Rockets need to walk away, because if they’re patient, Gordon could be available in the summer of 2022 when they’ll have a mountain of cap space.