NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Arizona F Aaron Gordon
|05.27.14 at 9:00 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.
Weight: 220 pounds
Key 2013-14 stats: 12.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 35.6 3P%, 42.2 FT%
Scouting report: While 18-year-olds usually don’t come to the NBA ready to defend at a high level, Aaron Gordon could be the exception. He is one of the best athletes in the draft, possessing outstanding lateral quickness and length, which will allow him to defend at least three positions. But it’s his off-ball awareness that puts him in proper positioning when it comes to rotations and weakside help. This versatility and reliability gives him the defensive potential of a Shawn Marion, Gerald Wallace or even Andrei Kirilenko.
Gordon’s abominable free throw percentage will get a lot of press, as it should; he was terrible from the line, shooting only 42.2 percent. But his form isn’t that bad, and a player with his work ethic should be able to fix it by the time his rookie contract is over.
Other than that, the 6-foot-9 forward brings fantastic offensive tools to the pros. He’s exceptional at moving off-ball, often finding his way to the rim as a result of dive cuts, transition and screens. Gordon appears to have a great sense of spacing, which also helps him with the ball in his hands; he’s a very good ball handler and passer, which gives him potential as a pick-and-roll playmaker. Of course, Gordon must develop his shot, but his 35.6 3-point percentage, solid mechanics and youth give him great upside.
How he fits: Gordon could very well be the steal of the draft if he develops a reliable shot. The C’s could really use a “do-it-all” player at the wing, and Gordon may be the best option for them at the sixth pick.
CelticsBlog: Six options at the sixth pick for Boston
CBS Sports: Aaron Gordon’s stellar upside
Video: Here is a video of Gordon’s top 10 plays this season.