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Report: Aaron Gordon planning to declare for NBA draft

Mar 31, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

Arizona v Wisconsin

Aaron Gordon, in some years, would be a top-three draft pick.

Not 2014, though.

In this loaded draft, Gordon hasn’t even broken into the consensus top six occupied by Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Dante Exum and Marcus Smart. Instead, Gordon is hanging in the next tier with with Noah Vonleh, trying to hold off charges from players like Gary Harris and Tyler Ennis.

But that hasn’t scared scared off the Arizona freshman forward. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

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Gordon is athletic enough to overcome being a bit small – 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds – for an NBA power forward. He can jump out of the gym, and his high effort level makes him an excellent defender.

He must polish his offensive game, though. Making 16-of-45 3-pointers (36 percent) gives some hope of unreached potential, but his 76-of-180 free-throw shooting (42 percent) gives a much larger indication of how rough around the edges he is.

Overall, Gordon averaged 12.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 0.9 steals.

That low steal rate could be concerning – Kevin Pelton of ESPN advocates the importance of steals for indicating athleticism – but Gordon trended in the right direction during the season. In his first nine games, Gordon got steals in only one of them (three against San Diego State). In his final nine games, he had 15 steals.

Gordon is headed toward being a top-10 pick. I don’t see any reason to expect “a stunning change of mind.”

  1. aboogy123456 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Gordon looks like he doesn’t necessarily have star potential, but he could be an elite role player based on his athleticism and defensive potential. He doesn’t look good with the ball in his hands and needs to work on his handles, but if he can learn to shoot better then he could be a great addition to a team who already has a star player. For example sacramento could be a great fit.

  2. shanelsweet - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Nobody 6′ 9″ and shooting 42% on free throws is working very hard to improve their game. Nobody drafts him top 10 in a strong draft.

  3. soundsofsuccess7 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    He’s just not that good. He’s athletic, he’s working on his shooting. But he doesn’t dominate at the college level, I can’t see too much success in the NBA.

  4. slaugin - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    I don’t understand how a player can be so talented and a lock to be top 10 in the draft yet shoots 42% from the line. I bet I could shoot over 42%

    • buckshowalter - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      You obviously didnt watch him very much this year.

  5. soopreme - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Gordon is a Battier type player and would be an excellent piece on a contending team. He has a very high motor. I hope the Heat try to trade up and get him.

  6. bougin89 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Looked every bit the athlete they claim he is against the Badgers on Saturday. When watching him I didn’t come away with a “this is a top 10 pick” vibe though. Stromile Swift anyone?

  7. andreboy1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Role player

  8. ayochaser - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    I think he’ll be fine as a tweener. Kenneth Farried might be a bit shorter & is nowhere near as aware defensively imo but he’s had a solid career so far. If Gordon can figure out his jumper he could potentially become a solid 2nd or 3rd scoring option (i.e. a young Shawn Marion) rather than just a “cut to the basket/tip in” guy like Farried has been so far.

  9. robsaia - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    Needs one more year in college

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