What Gordon trade to Nuggets means for Warriors now, in future


The NBA trade deadline is Woj's Christmas, and he isn't messing around this year.

Trades are flying left and right before Thursday's noon PT deadline, and chief among them is Aaron Gordon reportedly being traded from the Orlando Magic to the Denver Nuggets. As the Magic send away their best players, Denver reportedly is giving Orlando two young guards in Gary Harris and R.J. Hampton, along with a first-round draft pick. 

Harris, 26, was a first-round pick in 2014, and Hampton was taken with the 24th pick in the 2020 draft. Harris is averaging just 9.7 points per game this season, the lowest since his rookie year. Hampton, 20, is playing only 9.3 minutes per game after opting to play professionally in Australia instead of collegiately last year. 

The Warriors have been tied to Gordon rumors for months now, dating back to last year's draft. Golden State reportedly had talks with the Magic regarding a possible Gordon trade over the weekend, but just one day later the Warriors no longer were seen as suitors for Gordon. 

Gordon feels like a perfect fit for Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, who are going for it as the Los Angeles Lakers deal with injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The simple fact is, the Warriors never were going to give up this much for Gordon, a 25-year-old forward who is under contract through the 2021-22 season and is averaging 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. 

This, more than anything, shows the difference of where the Warriors are this season compared to the Nuggets and further shows their willingness to prioritize the future over the playoffs this season. It's hard to see the Warriors go all-in at the deadline this year unless a superstar like Bradley Beal becomes available. 

The Nuggets (the No. 5 seed in the West entering Thursday) find themselves in the perfect place to jump all over the leaking ship of the Lakers. The Warriors (the No. 10 seed) are not. At least not right now. 

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When the Warriors face the Nuggets on April 12 and April 23 -- their final two games against Denver -- perhaps they'll see what they missed out on in Gordon. The hope is the development of James Wiseman, Jordan Poole, Nico Mannion and others prove the Warriors to be right. 

All in all, this trade likely doesn't have a huge impact on the Warriors, especially this season. More than anything, it's another indication of who they are right now.

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