Aaron Gordon made a big 3-pointer to help his Denver Nuggets get a win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, but Nikola Jokic deserves some recognition for helping to make the shot happen.
Jokic had a monster game for the Nuggets, scoring 49 points with 14 rebounds and 10 assists. He was constantly getting double-teamed by the Clippers, including in overtime when Amir Coffey helped Ivica Zubac as time was ticking down.
Because he was double-teamed, Jokic knew that meant he had one teammate unguarded. He located that teammate — Gordon who was on the other end of the court, setting up for a 3-point shot. Not only did Jokic locate him and attempt the pass, but the pass hit Gordon perfectly in the chest — exactly where a shooter wants the ball:
Gordon nailed the clutch shot as part of his 28-point game. But Jokic earned that assist the hard way.
Not only does he have great on-court intelligence and execution, but his accuracy with his passing is unreal. He couldn’t have put it in a better spot for Gordon. That’s why he’s the reigning league MVP.
After his trade to the Denver Nuggets last season, veteran forward Aaron Gordon appears to have found a home.
According to Dan Singer of the Denver Post, there is “mutual optimism” that Gordon and the Nuggets will agree to a contract extension. The deal could be finalized as early as this week.
Gordon is entering the final year of the four-year, $80 million deal he signed with the Orlando Magic. While eligible for a four-year, $88 million extension, the new deal is more likely to be for two to three years with an annual value of about $20 million.
Gordon turned out to be a good fit for Denver after the team acquired him at the trade deadline. The 25-year-old’s offensive numbers did suffer, as he averaged only 10.2 points per game. However, he was often tasked with guarding the opponent’s top threat, making him a vital part of the lineup.
Aaron Gordon infamously lost the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk contest under shady circumstances, and he pretty clearly hasn’t forgotten.
Gordon famously competed in two dunk contests, earning a reputation as one of the best contestants of the modern era despite never actually winning one. In 2020, he received three 50s in the finals, but it still wasn’t enough to win.
So when Gordon was traded to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, he decided it was time for a new number and a fresh start. The number in question? 50, of course, in reference to his dunk contest prowess — and failure to win one.
When you see Aaron Gordon wearing number 50 tonight for the Nuggets, here's why:
1. He wanted a fresh start coming to Denver and joining the Nuggets
2. He chose 50 because of his dunk contest scores, and the fact that he didn't win. He has a documentary called "Mr. 50" pic.twitter.com/lWz202YZK4
Aaron Gordon on Monday requested a trade from the Orlando Magic, just days ahead of the trade deadline. A day later, he explained the factors that led to his request.
Gordon addressed the issue after the Magic lost 110-99 to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
“There’s been times where I just expressed my frustration to management — frustration with the losses, the injuries, the way we’ve been playing, how we’ve been playing and how many losses have accumulated over the years. You know, it’s just my frustration kind of boiling over, I would say. I think a lot of people share that sentiment with me of frustration,” Gordon said via The Athletic’s Josh Robbins.
The 25-year-old is in his seventh season with the Magic. After years of losing, the Magic finally had a winning record two seasons ago. They have made the playoffs two years in a row too. But they’ve regressed this season, and Gordon appears to have had enough. The question now is whether the Magic will actually deal him.
Gordon is averaging 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
The Orlando Magic are in Year 7 now of their Aaron Gordon-Evan Fournier-Nikola Vucevic core. But they may be re-evaluating it this trade deadline.
Tim Bontemps of ESPN reported Thursday that multiple league executives wonder if the Magic will consider moving on from Gordon as part of a pivot into a full-on rebuild. The 25-year-old is currently out four-to-six weeks wih an ankle sprain. Bontemps also notes that Fournier is on an expiring contract and is expected to draw trade interest as well.
Gordon has a high floor of production, averaging a typical 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game this season. But he has largely been the same player for his entire career. Meanwhile, the Magic have only made the playoffs twice since Gordon was drafted in 2014, both first-round exits.
Orlando is off to another slow start this season with a record of 8-14. Gordon has strong value from a marketability angle. But as for winning basketball games, the Magic may have already reached their ceiling with him.
Before you call out Gordon for being dirty, consider that shot was right after Lowry seemed to nail him.
This possession preceded Aaron Gordon's Flagrant 1 foul on Kyle Lowry by 14 seconds. In the play below, Lowry makes contact with Gordon as Lowry positions himself for a possible defensive rebound. Gordon's knee hyperextended on the play. https://t.co/k6TbxpifzT
The NBA has already postponed seven games due to COVID-19 issues less than a month into the season, and some are wondering if another bubble situation could become necessary. Orlando Magic star Aaron Gordon would not be opposed to that, but he doesn’t want to do it at Disney World again.
Gordon tweeted on Wednesday that he would be open to another bubble if it were in a tropical location. He’s thinking Hawaii or the Bahamas, and would want wives and girlfriends to be allowed to join.
“It’s starting to get janky … I’d be cool with a bubble if it was in the Bahamas or Hawaii and we got to bring our family/wife or girlfriend,” Gordon wrote.
Of course, many players would disagree with Gordon. LeBron James said this week that he would be strongly opposed to another bubble, and that opinion is shared by many. Even with multiple postponements already, it seems highly unlikely that the NBA will stray from its current plan.
You can certainly understand why Aaron Gordon would want to show off his girlfriend Izabela Guedes on social media every chance he gets, but the Orlando Magic star showed a little too much in one of his latest Instagram stories.
Gordon shared a photo of Guedes on his Instagram story this week in which her breast was exposed. It looked like Gordon tried to cover it with an emoji, but he put the emoji in the wrong place. Here’s a censored version, which covers both the wardrobe malfunction and the little emoji that served no purpose.
The Golden State Warriors recently traded for Andrew Wiggins, and now they could be dealing for another star of the 2014 draft class as well.
In an article this week, Anthony Slater of The Athletic listed Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon as a possible trade target for the Dubs this offseason and noted that there has been “a little smoke” between the two sides.
The 24-year-old Gordon is wrapping up his sixth season with the Orlando Magic. His development appears to be trending in the wrong direction as his scoring average has fallen for the third straight year, and he is showing little year-to-year improvement in the other aspects of his game.
Gordon has two years and $34.5 million remaining on his contract and fits the Golden State prototype as a switchable 6-foot-9 leaper with playmaking upside. He does have some positional overlap though with Draymond Green and emerging rookie Eric Paschall, so perhaps the Warriors should consider their other avenues for improvement too.