NBA NEWS

Magic trade Vucevic, Fournier, Gordon

Field Level Media

March 25, 2021 at 10:34 pm.

The Orlando Magic traded away three franchise cornerstones at the NBA trade deadline, sending All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, guard Evan Fournier and forward Aaron Gordon in separate deals, the team announced Thursday.

The trades:

–Vucevic and forward Al-Farouq Aminu to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for forward Otto Porter, center Wendell Carter Jr. and first-round picks in 2021 and 2023.
–Fournier to the Boston Celtics for two second-round draft picks.
–Gordon and Gary Clark to the Denver Nuggets for Gary Harris and R.J. Hampton and a first-round draft pick.

Vucevic, Fournier and Gordon — three-fifths of the starting lineup — combined to average 58.8 points on the season, more than half of the Magic’s average of 104.5 points per game.

“Anytime you trade a player like Nikola, it is a tough decision to make,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. “‘Vooch’ will go down as one of the best players to ever wear a Magic uniform and we can’t thank him enough for all the contributions he made to the organization, both on and off the court.”

Vucevic, a two-time All-Star, is averaging a career-best 24.5 points per game this season, his 10th in the league and ninth with Orlando. He’s also averaging 11.8 rebounds per game.

Vucevic, 30, was the 16th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011.

Aminu, 30, has started 14 of 17 games with the Magic this season and is averaging 5.5 points and 5.4 rebounds. In 705 career games (445 starts), Aminu has averaged 7.6 points and 6.0 rebounds.

In 26 games (all starts) on the season, Fournier, 28, is averaging career highs in points (19.7) and assists (3.7) to go with 2.9 rebounds. In 549 career games (407 starts) over nine NBA seasons, he has averages of 14.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Gordon, 25, is in his seventh NBA season since the Magic selected him No. 4 overall in the 2014 draft. On the season, he’s averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 25 games.

He has career averages of 12.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

The Magic are 15-29 on the season and in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, six games behind the Celtics for the eighth and final playoff berth.

Porter, 27, was the third overall pick by the Washington Wizards in 2013 and has averaged 11.0 points and 5.0 rebounds over 438 career games (301 starts). He’s averaged 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25 games (six starts) this season.

Carter, who turns 22 in April, was the seventh overall pick by Chicago in 2018. He started 25 of 32 games with the Bulls this season, averaging 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds. In 119 career games (112 starts), he’s averaged 10.8 points and 8.1 rebounds.

“Wendell (Carter Jr.) is a talented, young player, who is just starting to blossom,” Weltman said. “We are excited not only to add him to our team, but to watch him continue to develop into the player we think he can become. We’re happy to welcome Wendell and Otto (Porter Jr.) to the Magic family.”

The Nuggets selected Harris, now 26, in the first round of the 2014 draft. In 19 games this season, he’s averaged 9.7 points and 2.5 rebounds.

The 20-year-old Hampton, the Nuggets’ first-round draft pick in 2020, is averaging 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 25 games off the bench.