Aaron Gordon had a breakout season and is set to hit restricted free agency on July 1. In other words, a big payday is coming for the Arizona product.
“We’ll see how it goes. Whatever Orlando wants to do,” he told ESPN. “As a restricted free agent, I completely trust (management).”
The Magic can offer Gordon a five-year contract worth up to $148 million. Other teams can offer him a four-year deal worth about the same annually.
One problem Gordon faces is there simply aren’t many teams with enough cap space to satisfy his demands.
Only seven teams have more than $20 million in cap space, and the Magic can match any offer for Gordon. So re-upping with Orlando seems to be the likely outcome, unless he takes a lesser deal.
“Hopefully we just get it wrapped up with Orlando,” he told ESPN. “That would be fantastic.”
Gordon averaged 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in his fourth season with the Magic. All those figures are career-highs. He also shot a career-best from 3-point land (.336).
Orlando has continually been one of the worst teams in the league since drafting him with the fourth overall pick in 2014. It went 25-57 in 2017-18, which was the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
The Magic’s usage of Gordon has been questionable at times, as he spent a lot of time at small forward early in his career, which isn’t his natural position.
But this past season he played power forward nearly 90 percent of the time, per Basketball Reference, which can probably explain part of his breakout.
If Gordon does return to Orlando, he will play for his fourth head coach in five years. The Magic hired former Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford this offseason to replace Frank Vogel, who was at the helm for two seasons.