Aaron Gordon admits the past week was “stressful” because of constant trade rumors, but he’s happy that he wound up with the Nuggets, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. The Magic talked to several interested teams about Gordon before finalizing a deal with Denver shortly before Thursday’s trade deadline.
“It’s a huge relief to be a part of a great organization,” Gordon said today in his first session with reporters since being traded. “I’m just happy that I found a new home. It was tough. I was just so ready to pick up my phone from my agent. Any call I would get, regardless of who it was, I was thinking I was being traded.”
The Nuggets are counting on Gordon to bring more athleticism and a stronger defensive presence to their front line. He’s looking forward to catching lob passes from Nikola Jokic and to playing some meaningful games in the postseason. Gordon was injured during the Magic’s brief playoff stay last summer and was only in the playoffs one other time during his seven-plus years in Orlando. He told reporters this week that losing is why he asked the Magic to trade him.
“I think the style of play (in Denver) fits me a lot better. I think I can help a lot of the guys out around here with my play as well,” Gordon said. “I think I’m gonna benefit just from getting a re-start, just refreshing with a new coach and some new players.”
There’s more from Denver:
- JaVale McGee, the Nuggets’ other trade addition Thursday, believes Denver is now in position to contend for a title, according to Sean Keeler of The Denver Post. “I feel like this team has all the pieces,” said McGee, who already has three championship rings. “I feel like they did a great job of putting their guys together. And with the addition of me and Aaron, I just feel like we have (a) championship pedigree. And me, personally, knowing it takes everything going right to win a championship, like people have got to stay (healthy), and just a lot of things have to go right. But I feel like we have all the pieces for it to go right.”
- The Nuggets were motivated to make a significant move at the deadline because of Jokic’s MVP-caliber season, Singer adds in a separate story. “We want to make sure we’re doing right by him,” said president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.
- Acquiring Gordon is the type of move that can flip the race for the championship, contends Zach Kram of The Ringer. He notes that because Gordon is under contract for another season, the Nuggets will have time to work with him before deciding whether to offer another contract. If not, Denver will clear sizable cap room in time for Michael Porter Jr.‘s rookie scale extension.