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Aaron Gordon trade package doesn’t include previously reported key piece

Aaron Gordon trade, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are still pursuing Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, but they appear unwilling to part with one of their glue guys.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reported Celtics guard Marcus Smart is not one of the pieces being discussed in a current Gordon swap.

Murphy also reported the Celtics are hoping to relinquish just one first-round pick, rather than two.

Matt Moore of The Action Network reported Wednesday the Celtics were the “frontrunner” to land Gordon ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.

Moore had reported the framework might have included Gordon and Magic guard Evan Fournier heading to Boston, with Orlando pursuing Smart. But Moore clarified the C’s were “reluctant” to part with Smart.

Indeed, Boston does not appear to have any intentions of moving Smart.

It could make sense to trade Smart from a financial standpoint. He will be a free agent after the 2021-22 season, same as Gordon, and Boston might prefer Gordon’s frontcourt scoring and playmaking going forward.

However, Smart provides the Celtics with ample intrinsic value. He is and has been the motor of the franchise, a tireless worker who can practically guard every position while also serving as a secondary ball-handler.

How might the Celtics pivot? Are they still considered frontrunners after pulling Smart from the framework, or will the Magic look elsewhere?

One thing seems to be clear at this point: Gordon will be dealt. He has requested a trade and the Magic reportedly have interest from a number of teams.

Boston could be hard-pressed not to include another first-rounder if it is unwilling to include Smart in negotiations.