Barring a miracle series comeback by the Orlando Magic, it appears that Aaron Gordon’s season is over.
The Magic announced Thursday that Gordon has left the NBA bubble because of the strained hamstring he suffered during the seeding games.
Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon has left the NBA campus due to his strained left hamstring.— Orlando Magic PR (@Magic_PR) August 27, 2020
Gordon has not played during the Magic’s first round series against the Bucks, which they trail 3-1 and are expected to resume at some point this weekend.
Gordon suffered the injury during the Magic’s third seeding game against the Raptors, when Kyle Lowry hit his arm during a drive to the basket and AG landed awkwardly. Lowry was called for a flagrant foul and the two later exchanged words. Gordon initially remained in the game but soon exited and hasn’t been back on the court since.
“He just can’t run or sprint up and down the court,” Clifford recently told reporters. “Then the other concern is, because of the nature of the injury, the one thing we’re being very careful with is we don’t want something to happen where he compensates and injures something else or ends up with a significant injury.”
Gordon’s services certainly could have been used against the Bucks, particularly on the defensive end, where the Magic have been unable to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo out of the paint. But he, like half of the Magic roster, was unable to play, leaving Gary Clark to start in his place.
Gordon finishes the season having averaged 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. His struggled with his shot, shooting 43.7 percent from the field (dangerously close to a career-low set during the 2017-2018 season), including just 30.8 percent from three (down from 34.9 percent last season). That combined for an effective field goal percentage of just 48.4 percent, his lowest since his rookie season (47.8 percent).
But, in typical AG fashion, he showed flashes of a breakthrough, making us wonder if this was his takeoff for “the leap.”
With Gordon’s name regularly making its way into trade rumor stories across the internet, some will question whether AG has played his final game in a Magic uniform. Gordon has two years remaining on his contract — at an easily moveable cost of $18.1 million next season and $16.4 million in 2021-22.
But with uncertainly surrounding next season’s salary cap, and with the Magic already expected to be without Jonathan Isaac for the season, I’d expect Gordon to stay put. We’ll dive into that more during the offseason.