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#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

Aaron Gordon responds to Magic’s leaked whiteboard trade proposal

Potentially alienating your franchise player isn’t exactly a strategy for success, and the Orlando Magic are finding that out the hard way.

Magic forward Aaron Gordon responded on Tuesday to the leaked whiteboard photo that appeared to suggest the team was considering trading him to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for fellow forward Dario Saric.

“It was definitely something that I wasn’t aware of before,” said the former No. 4 overall pick, per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “It wasn’t for me to see, so for me to see something like that, it brings something that’s out of my control into my reality. But that’s neither here nor there. My plan and my focus is to play basketball and to enjoy the game of basketball.

“Anything other than that is out of my control,” Gordon went on. “I love this organization and I’m going to continue to work hard and play … Obviously, I know that it’s there, but I just play the game. I trust my skills. I love my teammates. So with that, I can just play.”

The 21-year-old Gordon, who is averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game this season, is perhaps the only true foundational talent on the Orlando roster. But the leaked whiteboard image (which you can view here) listed Saric as a potential Magic offseason trade target with the phrase “For AG?” written in parenthesis next to it.

Robbins adds that Magic head coach Frank Vogel spoke with Gordon on Tuesday to reassure him, while general manager Rob Hennigan also downplayed the significance of the leaked photo. But nevertheless, the damage here may have already been done.

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