|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: New Mexico PF Drew Gordon||06.25.12 at 8:17 pm ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Power forward
School: New Mexico
Weight: 240 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-Mountain West Conference first team, 2012 MWC Tournament MVP, 2011 All-MWC second team, 2011 MWC Newcomer of the Year
Key 2011-12 stats: 13.7 points, 54.2 FG%, 11.1 rebounds
What he brings: Gordon is a large presence on the floor and plays very aggressively on defense. He led the team with 11.1 rebounds — 8.0 defensively — his senior year and added 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game. Gordon also is quick and can traverse the floor well despite his size and is aware of where the basketball is, even when he doesn’t have it. Gordon, who can convert mid-range shots, averaged a double-double both of his seasons at New Mexico.
Gordon started his collegiate basketball career at UCLA, where he reportedly didn’t get along with coach Ben Howland. He played six games with the Bruins in 2009-10 before transferring to New Mexico. The San Jose native was included in a Sports Illustrated article this year that targeted behavioral problems within the UCLA team. The article alleged Gordon had gotten into multiple fights, smoked marijuana and drank. Gordon told the San Jose Mercury News the SI article was inaccurate, although he acknowledged that he did make some “ill-advised” choices as a freshman at UCLA.
Where the Celtics could get him: Gordon is expected to be drafted toward the middle of the second round.
Notes: Gordon needed surgery in October 2010 for a torn meniscus in his knee, suffered a concussion in 2009 that caused him to miss the first game of the NCAA tournament and missed playing time his senior year of high school due to an ankle injury.
Video: Here are some highlights of Gordon (32) shooting and defending.