Before I talk about Aaron Gordon, I'd like to address the elephants in the room: Kevin Love rumors and Rajon Rondo speculation. This stuff may happen, this stuff may not happen. And if the plan is to trade Rondo and trade for Love than Marcus Smart makes a lot more sense with this pick. One can easily argue he is the best player available at this point in our mock draft. However, I am going off of how the Celtics are constructed now and not what the media speculates Danny Ainge may do. And while Smart may be BPA at this point, the Celtics are set at point guard with Rondo.
NBA Draft Series!
So with that being said, in what may come as a surprise to some and maybe not a surprise at all to others, the Boston Celtics select Aaron Gordon with the sixth overall pick.
The Celtics have a lot of needs. One of them happens to be size and one good aspect about this draft is there is a lot of size once you traverse outside the big four of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, and Dante Exum. One of those people is Gordon. Though he is not quite Noah Vonleh who would have been the pick here had Tanner not swiped him for Utah at the last minute, Gordon measures 6'9" and 220 pounds, and what he lacks in wingspan (6'11.75") he tries to make up with strong effort and a relentless work ethic especially on the defensive end. Gordon projects as a great defender at the next level. He has fantastic fundamentals, is capable of defending multiple positions, and always does his best to contest shots.
Though the Celtics might be hesitant to take a shot on Gordon because of his shooting troubles, his defensive potential and potential on the offensive board is hard to deny. And for a team rebuilding such as Boston*, taking a high upside player who also happens to be the youngest player in the draft seems like a smart idea especially because they will be able to take their time with his development.
*Bill Simmons may deny it all he wants, but the Celtics are attempting a rebuild even if due to circumstance of contracts it does not appear as drastic as the Sixers'.
I reached out to Jeff Clark of Celtics Blog for a reaction to the Gordon selection and he was kind enough to provide the following comment.
I'm a little torn between Vonleh and Gordon but the Jazz pick makes this decision easier. I could see Brad Stevens loving Aaron as a defensive minded, high IQ, high athleticism 3 that can play some 4 as well. Despite his size, he could be a useful rim protector in his own right. His shooting and overall offense is a concern, but he's already shown he's willing to work on his release and form.
Also see: http://www.celticsblog.com/2014/5/30/5761998/aaron-gordon-revised-free-throw-form-lead-to-greater-success-NBA-draft-scouting-arizona-bust-steal
The Los Angeles Lakers are now on the clock and Brandon will be making their selection tomorrow.