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NBA trade deadline news: Nuggets land Gordon, McGee

JaVale McGee on the court.
JaVale McGee, playing for the Cavaliers earlier this season, grabs a rebound.
(Ron Schwane / Associated Press)

The Denver Nuggets have made another aggressive move at the trade deadline by acquiring Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said Thursday.

In exchange, the Magic receive veteran shooting guard Gary Harris, rookie R.J. Hampton and a first-round draft pick, according to the person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was still pending NBA approval. Denver also is receiving forward Gary Clark as part of the trade package.

The 25-year-old Gordon averaged 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Magic this season. He was the fourth overall pick by Orlando in the 2014 draft.

Clark appeared in 35 games for the Magic this season, with 11 starts. He averaged 3.4 points and 3.2 rebounds over 18.2 minutes per game.

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Harris has long been a favorite of Denver’s coaching staff due to his defense. He’s been plagued by injuries since being picked 19th overall in the 2014 draft. Playing time has been sporadic for Hampton, who is averaging 9.3 minutes per game.

The deal was another splashy move by the Nuggets as they chase their first NBA title.

The Clippers reached a deal with Atlanta Just before the NBA’s trade deadline to bring Rajon Rondo back to L.A. in exchange for Lou Williams.

Earlier in the day, they acquired backup center JaVale McGee from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Isaiah Hartenstein and two second-round picks. McGee will spell all-star big man Nikola Jokic, who is part of the MVP conversation because he is averaging nearly a triple-double.

The Nuggets made it to the Western Conference finals last season before losing to the champion Los Angeles Lakers. The team currently is 26-18 and in fifth place in the West standings.

Lowry stays, Oladipo goes

Kyle Lowry stayed with the Toronto Raptors, and the Miami Heat got Victor Oladipo instead.

Lowry — perhaps the biggest prize on the market — did not get traded, the Raptors apparently unable to find enough assets to their liking. Miami was one of the biggest pursuers for Lowry, who they may still target as a free agent later this year, wound up adding Oladipo from the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers did not make any moves at the trade deadline and will now look at the buyout market. Here are four takeaways from Thursday.

It didn’t cost Miami much: Kelly Olynyk was on an expiring deal, and Avery Bradley has barely played for the Heat this season because of COVID-19 and then a calf injury. The deal also included pick swap in 2022, a person with knowledge of the matter told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal needed league approval.

Also staying put were San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Cleveland’s Andre Drummond, a pair of veteran post players who have not been on the court for their current — and soon to be former — clubs in several weeks, after decisions were made in both cases for the sides to simply move on amicably. Aldridge and Drummond now likely become buyout recipients, which will make them free to sign with the club of their choosing.

Powell heading to Portland

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired shooting guard Norm Powell in a trade with the Toronto Raptors, a person with knowledge of the deal said Thursday. In exchange, the Blazers have sent Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood to the Raptors.

Division III Pomona-Pitzer would be a springboard for Gregg Popovich, but the early years — and one game especially — didn’t augur a legendary future.

Powell, 27, is averaging a career-best 19.6 points per game this season and is shooting 43.5% from beyond the arc. He scored a career-high 43 points against the Pistons earlier this month.

Powell, who had a player option for next season, was expected to instead test free agency this summer. He was the 46th overall pick in the 2015 draft out of UCLA by the Milwaukee Bucks, who dealt him on draft night to the Raptors.

The Blazers (25-18) are sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference. Portland had a two-game losing streak headed into Thursday night’s game at Miami.

Trent, a restricted free agent after this season, is averaging a career-best 15 points per game. The 22-year-old is in his third season. He was selected 37th overall in the 2018 draft by Sacramento.

Hood, 28, has averaged 4.7 points and 19.1 minutes in 38 games this season, with five starts.

Do you wait for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to return or make a move now?

Magic trade Vucevic, Fournier

The Orlando Magic have traded center Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls and wing Evan Fournier to the Boston Celtics, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Vucevic and Fournier were Orlando’s two leading scorers this season.

The Celtics were able to take on Fournier’s salary by using part of the trade exception that they created last year in the move that sent Gordon Hayward to Charlotte, the person told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was still pending NBA approval. That move came after Orlando struck a deal earlier Thursday with Chicago to send Vucevic to the Bulls.

Fournier is averaging career highs of 19.7 points and 3.7 assists this season for the Magic, which turned trade-deadline day in the NBA into the start of their rebuild.

Kings to acquire Wright

The Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade guard Delon Wright to the Sacramento Kings for guard Cory Joseph and two second-round draft picks, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The 6-foot-5 Wright has averaged 10.4 points a game this season for the rebuilding Pistons. They acquired the 28-year-old guard in an offseason move. He has also played for Dallas, Memphis and Toronto.

The 29-year-old Joseph is averaging 6.6 points this season. He has spent the past season and a half with the Kings. Before that, he played for Indiana, Toronto and San Antonio.


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