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Nuggets acquire Magic forward Aaron Gordon in blockbuster trade, report says

Denver is sending guard Gary Harris, forward R.J. Hampton and a 1st-round pick to Orlando.

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets are making a big splash before the trade deadline by acquiring Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic, according to multiple reports.

The Nuggets are sending shooting guard Gary Harris, guard R.J. Hampton and a first-round pick in exchange for the 6-foot-8 power forward, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Gordon, 25, is playing his seventh season in the NBA after being drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of the University of Arizona.

He is averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, while adding 0.6 steals and 0.8 blocks. He's also shooting 37.5% from three-point range while making nearly two a game.

In adding Gordon, the Nuggets are hoping he will add a high-flying presence next to All-Pro center Nikola Jokic on the offensive end, and a versatile defender who can guard the likes of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard on the other end of the floor.

Gordon reportedly drew significant interest from multiple teams including the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves after requesting a trade earlier in the season.

Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux
Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, right, looks to pass during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets are also saying goodbye to Harris, who had spent his whole career in Denver until this point after being drafted 19th overall in the first-round of the 2014 draft out of Michigan State University.

Harris has been a regular starter and defensive standout for Denver since his arrival, but his career has been hampered by frequent injuries, including a recent left-thigh injury that has kept him out of the lineup recently.

Hampton was taken with the 24th pick of the 2020 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, and acquired by the Nuggets in a four-team trade on draft night. He previously played one season for the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian National Basketball league, after turning down offers from schools including Kansas, Memphis and Texas Tech.

Gordon is the second player the Nuggets traded for on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the team received center JaVale McGee from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for center Isaiah Hartenstein and two future second-round picks, according to reports.

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