Aaron Gordon will be top priority for Magic’s front office
Aaron Gordon is set to become a restricted free agent in a couple of months and the Orlando Magic are determined to make his signing a top priority in the summer.
The Magic will also have to deal with the impending free agency of their next two highest scorers in Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic — the longest-tenured player on the roster.
“We face a few free-agent issues, and obviously Aaron would be at the top of that list,” said president Jeff Weltman, according to Joshua Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. “I can’t comment too deeply on that other than to say Aaron has a lot of potential. He’s a hard worker. And we will have substantive talks with his agent. Whether we can get something done, we’ll see. But I know that he wants to be here and we’d like to keep him.”
Gordon averaged 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game, making 33.6 percent of his 3-pointers this season — all career highs.
When asked about what would be the ideal structure for his next contract, Gordon was charmingly honest.
“Ideal is max,” Gordon said. “God, that would be ideal: three letters.”
“Here?” a reporter asked, referring to the Magic.
“Yeah, definitely here,” Gordon said. “That would be ideal. If [General Manager] John [Hammond] and Jeff [Weltman] made that investment, that would be definitely ideal: get those three letters on my name.”
Under a max contract, the Magic could sign Gordon to an annual salary that begins at 25 percent of the salary cap for the 2018-19 season, which would reflect into a salary of $25.3 million under current projections for the cap ($102 million).
The franchise could then give Gordon annual raises of eight percent per year, allowing him to make $27.3 million, $29.5 million, $31.8 million, and $34.4 million during the next four years of his contract.
Orlando is the only team who could offer Gordon a five-year deal, due to the franchise holding his Bird rights.