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Aaron Gordon.

Aaron Gordon promises that Orlando Magic will make the playoffs this season

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The Orlando Magic have been in one of the longest rebuilding phases since Dwight Howard departed the franchise in 2012. 

The team has failed to make the playoffs in the five seasons since Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and haven't had a star player to fill the big shoes left by the All-Star center. 

Orlando has always been used to having superstars on their roster from Howard to Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway and Tracy McGrady.

They have had multiple lottery picks over the last five years but have been unable to unearth a player with the star quality and talent to transform their team. 

One player who is hoping to take on that responsibility is high-flyer, Aaron Gordon. The young forward has extremely high hopes for the upcoming season and has made a bold promise to Magic fans about their playoff chances.

"I’m looking to lead and be led to the playoffs with my team," he said in an interview with SportTechie. "It’s going to take a collective team effort but yeah — we’ll be in the playoffs this year."

That's an extremely big statement for the 21-year-old to make but it shows the confidence he has in his own ability which is admirable.

Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2017

'Air Gordon' is known for his ridiculous athleticism and dunks - hence the nickname - but he will have to develop a complete game if he wants to grow into a true star in Orlando and become a leader for the team. 

The Arizona product averaged 12.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game last season but will have to show a significant improvement on that if he is to come good on his promise of leading the Magic into the postseason. 

With All-Stars Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Paul Millsap leaving the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks respectively this offseason, it could potentially open up some extra spots in the Eastern Conference.

Gordon will be entering his fourth season and is eligible for a rookie extension next month. In this current market, he is likely to request a big contract and it'll be interesting to see if the organisation chooses to tie him down or allow him to enter restricted free agency next summer.

Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2017

But Orlando hasn't made many moves either via free agency or the trade market to boost their team so they may decide to commit to Gordon and hope that he develops significantly in the years to come.

In truth, a playoff berth seems unlikely for the Florida-based outfit, but Gordon's mindset is an encouraging sign for the team.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Elfrid Payton
Orlando Magic
Southeast Division
Evan Fournier
Aaron Gordon

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