Report: Boston Celtics 'Locked in On' Aaron Gordon with No. 6 2014 Draft Pick

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistJune 4, 2014

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Boston Celtics fans, imagine the possibilities. 

The C's are running down the court in transition early in the 2014-15 season, and Rajon Rondo throws a perfectly timed alley-oop pass from half court. It falls right into the hands of a leaping athlete, and he slams it through the hoop for two points that fire up the crowd at TD Garden. 

That athlete? Aaron Gordon, Boston's pick at No. 6 in the 2014 NBA draft. And because that wasn't good enough already, he runs back to the other end and locks down his man as well as any rookie in the Association.

If you ask Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, that's the plan. 

"Several league sources believe that Celtics GM Danny Ainge is locked in on Gordon," he reports during his latest mock draft. "While Gordon's shooting is a concern, he is a strong rebounder and shot blocker who can defend either forward spot and has been compared to Shawn Marion."

Gordon himself has acknowledged the Celtics' interest as well.

As he wrote for, "The next week and a half, really, is a grind. I’ve got the Kings; then I go to L.A. for the Lakers; then I go to Boston; then I think I go to Orlando after that."

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 27:  Aaron Gordon #11 of the Arizona Wildcats dunks the ball in the second half while taking on the San Diego State Aztecs during the regional semifinal of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Honda Center on March 27, 2014
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Sure, there are plenty of workouts, but the Celtics remain right in the midst of those vying for Gordon's services. And they pick before the other mentioned teams, save the Orlando Magic, who are presumably looking at the Arizona product in case he miraculously falls to No. 12, where they have a second lottery pick. 

But is Gordon to Boston a good idea? 

The forward is right in the midst of the elite group of prospects, one that includes Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, Marcus Smart, Julius Randle and Noah Vonleh. Including Gordon, that's eight players, and taking any of them at No. 6 in such a loaded draft wouldn't exactly be cause for panic.

What would be problematic is Danny Ainge locking in on Gordon to such an extent that he fails to do his due diligence on other players. 

"No. 6 is not necessarily too high for Gordon to get drafted, but it’s too high to lock in on him. If the Celtics vet other prospects and still like Gordon, great. But make him earn it first," explains Dan Feldman for NBC Sports.

Chances are, he could still earn it. 

Unless Vonleh is still on the board, in which case he should be taken, Gordon is exactly the type of uber-athletic big man who could be paired with Jared Sullinger to create an impressive frontcourt with enough youth and upside to be around for years to come. 

He's already an excellent defender who seems prepared to take his talents to the next level with a seamless transition, and while the jumper and offensive awareness are still works in progress, there have been enough indications of future development that they shouldn't be considered particularly problematic.

Of course, Mannix also acknowledges that a trade is possible. And after a weekend in which Kevin Love and Rondo spent some time together in Beantown, that may well be the No. 1 priority.

But if the C's are going to use the No. 6 pick to add to their own roster, they could do far worse than Gordon.