The Trail Blazers were trying to grab Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic.
The Portland Trail Blazers were one of the first teams to pull off a consequential move this offseason, packaging Trevor Ariza and two first-round picks to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Robert Covington. While Damian Lillard and Terry Stotts got their versatile forward, he wasn’t the top option on their list.
SiriusXM’s Mitch Lawrence claims that the Blazers were originally interested in trading for Magic power forward Aaron Gordon, but they opted for Covington after they couldn’t strike a deal with Orlando.
Aaron Gordon might’ve been a better pickup than Covington for Portland
While he is about to start his seventh NBA season in Orlando, Gordon, who has been the subject of trade rumors, is still reaching his ceiling at 25 years old. While his scoring has dipped in each of the last two seasons, he managed a respectable 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while leading the Magic to the postseason in consecutive years. He doesn’t dominate the ball on offense, meaning that he could be a solid third star next to Lillard and CJ McCollum.
While he’s not the shooter or perimeter defender that Covington is, Gordon can handle the ball, sky towards the rim, and bang down low to get tough rebounds while playing exceptional defense on the block. Considering that they had a defensive liability in Carmelo Anthony filling that hole last year, Gordon would be a much younger, more athletic option that could play better on both ends.
Considering that Phoenix just added Chris Paul and Golden State will likely return to the playoffs this year, Portland needs to knock it out of the park in order to stay afloat in the West. While Covington is an excellent player that will assume a starting role right away, adding Gordon might’ve really made for an amazing start to the truncated offseason.