According to BleacherReport.com’s Jonathan Wasserman, the Lakers will select Aaron Gordon with the 8th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Mock Draft. Click here for the full mock. Here’s what he had to say about the Gordon pick:
Aaron Gordon continues to play his role as an opportunistic scorer, meaning his numbers will never stand out among the other high-caliber prospects.
It’s not going to keep teams from targeting him in the top 10. Gordon’s first-class athleticism has already been confirmed; now we’re learning he’s also an excellent passer and a high-IQ presence.
The concern with Gordon is his NBA position—we’ve seen a lot of similar combo forwards struggle to make the transition, which might scare off general managers who fear the next Anthony Bennett, Derrick Williams, Thomas Robinson or Michael Beasley.
Still, his intangibles, athleticism and ceiling should act as a flotation device for his draft stock. Gordon should float around the late-lottery range from now until June.
If I’m the Lakers, I’m into Gordon’s upside at a position in which they have none.
I agree with almost everything Jonathan had to say about Gordon. Gordon is probably the best pure athlete in the draft, and that’s saying something considering Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid are both in the draft. He plays smart and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He scores when the defense gives in to him and can take the ball to the hoop with ease.
Gordon is probably at the tail end of the top prospects in the draft considering he is not a dominant scorer. However, his freakish athleticism and high quality defense will give him the ability to play at a high level in the NBA until he develops an outside shot. His athleticism has led to comparisons to Blake Griffin, but I don’t think that is the most comparable NBA player, although it gives him a hell of a ceiling.
Similar to SDSU alum and current Spurs forward, Kawhi Leonard, Gordon is a bit of a tweener forward that is forced to play down low in the NCAA. Also similar to Kawhi, Gordon has the athleticism to be a lockdown defender at the 3 position and is a shot (for Kawhi, the corner 3) away from being a fixture in any starting 5. I would even go out on a limb and say the ceiling for Gordon is higher than Leonard.
Gordon plays with tenacity and works constantly to improve. The latter is probably the most important trait in the draft, and with a guy that is arguably as athletic as LeBron James, having that work ethic to improve could push him into superstardome. Gordon’s work ethic, combined with Kobe’s knowledge and desire to pass the torch, would revert the culture of the Lakers back to winning in seconds. And, I’m not embellishing him. Take a look at his game highlights below and be amazed:
What would you guys think if the Lakers selected Aaron Gordon with the 8th pick?