Double edged dig by ESPN
ESPN ripped both AG and DWill in the same article...
Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon -- No. 7 on Chad Ford's Big Board update today -- brings some intangibles to the court that maybe some other big-name combo forwards from previous years didn't, so it's not entirely fair to lump him in with guys like Derrick Williams or Anthony Bennett. However, we've seen how difficult it has been for Williams and Bennett to adjust at the NBA level, and there are some similar concerns when it comes to Gordon.
Like the others, he's undersized, with a 6-foot-9, 225-pound frame that might seem better suited for small forward than power forward, and the fact that he's a super athlete and solid passing big man also supports a future at the 3. The problem is, Gordon's shooting and perimeter game are nowhere near where Williams or Bennett were at when they left for the pros.
Bennett's freshman year at UNLV: (202-379) 53.3% FG, (36-96) 37.5% 3PT, (124-177) 70.1% FT
Williams' sophomore year at Arizona: (226-380) 59.5% FG, (42-74) 56.8% 3PT, (247-331) 74.6% FT
Gordon this season: (114-242) 47.1% FG, (8-27) 29.6% 3PT, (46-110) 41.8% FT
It's hard to imagine those type of shooting numbers translating well for Gordon early in his pro career, and unless he makes marked improvement in that department he probably will have to play power forward by default.
That's concerning because he's played almost exclusively at the 3 with Arizona this season. And when tasked with playing power forward last week following the season-ending injury to Brandon Ashley, Gordon struggled offensively from all areas of the floor.
He shot 4-14 against Cal, finishing with 8 points. Then he followed that up with a 6-point showing against Oregon, going 2-5 from the field and a dreadful 2-11 from the line. He did better in his last game, scoring 17 points on 8-12 shooting in a win over Oregon State, but the overall deficiencies in his offensive game are undoubtedly a concern for NBA personnel and talent evaluators.
If Gordon is going to have to play the 4 at the next level, he's going to have to get much better around the basket. According to Synergy, he has averaged 0.833 points per play in offensive rebound/put-back situations, which ranks in the 16th percentile among all NCAA players, and his 0.652 PPP in post-up situations fares little better (21st percentile).