Aaron Gordon was sometimes the forgotten freshman in college basketball this season, but his athletic ability made him a favorite on SportsCenter. After averaging 12.4 points, eight rebounds, and two assists per game at Arizona, Gordon is the next 2014 NBA Draft prospect we’ll take an in-depth look at.
For Gordon, it all starts with his athleticism. He’s an elite athlete who can soar above the rim to catch lobs anywhere near the basket, making him a terror in transition. Gordon can corral rebounds and start the break because of his ability to handle the ball. He’s a quick secondary leaper, which helps him with put-backs on missed shots. He has good hands and can run the floor with ease.
Gordon is a high-energy player who makes a living on the defensive end of the floor. He’s an advanced man-to-man defender who can guard multiple positions and also understands how to play help defense. With his unselfishness and defensive ability, he has the makings for one of the top glue guys in the NBA.
At 6-foot-8, Gordon will be considered a ‘tweener’ at the forward position. Although he can handle the ball, Gordon may not be able to play the small forward position because of his shaky jumper. He improved his three-point shooting late into the season, with a 4-of-6 display from deep in the tournament, but that was only a small sample size. He also struggles mightily at the free throw line, with a 42 percent showing from the charity stripe this season.
With his defensive ability, athleticism, and shaky jumper, Gordon can possibly become a Shawn Marion type of player while his “floor” may be a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist type. He doesn’t need plays run for him to be effective and takes pride in his defense.
The question for GMs is if they’re willing to select such a raw prospect early in the draft. He won’t turn 19 until September, so there’s still plenty of time for future improvement. Gordon’s known as a hard worker, which is a good trait to hear as well. If an NBA organization is looking for a glue guy with tremendous upside, Gordon is the player to select. He should be drafted within the top 10.
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