Gordon posted per-game averages of 12.4 points, eight rebounds, one block, two assists and 0.9 steals in his one season as a Wildcat, shooting 49.5 percent from the field. Despite these solid numbers, he shot an abysmal 42.2 percent from the free-throw line, which is something he will clearly need to improve upon in the NBA.
Only 18 years old, Gordon believes he will improve in the professional ranks, via Matt Norlander of CBS Sports: “I’m really going to flourish. I think my game’s going to expand.”
He certainly made an impression and likely improved his draft stock at the NBA combine leading up to the draft. ESPN Highlights shared the numbers of his impressive vertical leap, while Chad Ford of ESPN noted that his measurables and drill performances were some of the most impressive in the 2014 draft class:
Draft prospect Aaron Gordon hits 39" on vertical jump. 3rd best among power forwards and centers in combine history. http://t.co/AGoiM01ZEd— ESPN Highlights (@HighlightsESPN) May 16, 2014
Think its safe to say that Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine were the big winners in the athletic testing today. #NBACombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 16, 2014
There is no doubt that Gordon is one of the most athletic prospects in the entire 2014 draft, which is certainly one of the main reasons Orlando drafted him so high.
Will Aaron Gordon start as a rookie?
He can get out in transition, has a number of post-up moves and is a tremendous defender. What’s more, he will thrill the home fans with his aerial displays and rim-rattling dunks, even though there is some room for improvement in his offensive arsenal.
If we are to look ahead, Gordon projects as an athletic power forward or larger small forward for the Magic. He possesses a tremendous foundation of defensive abilities due to his length and athleticism, and his skill set offers plenty of room for growth offensively.
That type of versatility will pay dividends as he fights for playing time as a rookie, although he certainly wasn’t taken so early to sit on the bench in year one.