Aaron Gordon is not as excited about leaving Orlando as Nikola Vucevic.
His words from his introductory press in Denver should come as no surprise, considering that he did request an exchange from Orlando, did not publicly deny it when asked, and ultimately got his wish.
Still, his words won’t sit well with Magic fans after what was an outpouring of excitement from Vucevic on Saturday when asked about the emotions of leaving Orlando. Gordon’s response was the opposite.
“It is a great relief to be part of a great organization,” he told reporters. “I am happy to have found a new home. It was hard. I was so ready to answer my agent’s phone. So any call I got, regardless of who it was, I was thinking I was being traded. “
That call came Thursday and sent Gordon to Denver, which was apparently one of his top destinations …
“Being able to play meaningful games allows me to do my best every night,” Gordon said. “I expect nothing less than a victory and that expectation and that pressure is something that I love. It’s something I’m looking forward to being a part of. “
That first part of the quote could be more in-depth because it suggests he didn’t do his best at times when he was in Orlando, where significant games during his tenure were few and far between.
Gordon was asked what excites him most about joining the Nuggets.
“I think it’s just the level of the organization, the basketball culture, the offensive and defensive schemes,” he said. “I feel like it really fits my style of play, being able to cut, being able to run, being able to detect. Defensively I can block and really help some of the best offensive players in the league. I think I found a very good combination here. ”
Gordon and the Magic were never a better fit for each other, with the Magic surrounding Gordon with players of redundant skills and Gordon never displayed any true consistency or the ability to reach the next level.
He was asked how a change of scenery would help him.
“I think a lot,” he said. “A lot has to do with the team element, and the pieces, the coaching staff, the organization. I think the style of play suits me much better. And I think I can help a lot of the guys here just with my game. I think I will benefit from a reboot and refreshing myself with a new coach and some new players. ”
The Magic have a reboot too, and to be fair, most fans weren’t exactly heartbroken about leaving Gordon at this stage. Probably even less so now with Chuma Okeke having set a new career record in consecutive games.
Gordon said he didn’t have much information on where he wanted to be traded, adding that it was between a couple of teams and he believes Denver is “easily the best option.”
“I don’t think it will take me long to catch up,” Gordon said. “I’ve been playing in the league for seven years. I have seen many different coaches in my time in Orlando. Two of the coaches were actually my coaches in Orlando at Wes (Unseld Jr.) and DA (David Adelman). So I think that line of communication will be open. I think that the schemes, and part of the communication, and only the verbiage, are the ones that take the longest to arrive. But when it comes to playing, I have an idea of how we want to play and will do my best to bring something to the table. “
The Athletic’s Josh Robbins asked Gordon what a rebuilding team like the Magic has to do to put players in the best position.
“They just have to stick to the plan,” Gordon said. “A reconstruction is important to have a plan and follow it to the end … Do not change concepts and change plans from one year to the next. I just have to stick to one type of process and follow through. “
It’s funny coming from a player who was one of the first pieces of the Magic’s original rebuilding plan.