11 - Aaron Gordon

6-9, 220 Power Forward
Arizona Freshman
09/16/95 (28.1 yrs)
San Jose, CA
High School
Archbishop Mitty
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Kenneth Faried

Strengths: A very athletic and versatile PF … Is a very active and energetic type of athlete, showing great leaping ability and explosiveness … Plays with a high motor… Physically lean, but is a wiry strong player who doesn’t  shy away from contact … Shows a very good nose for the ball … Always must be accounted for on box outs, as he is a very good offensive rebounder and shows an outstanding 1st and 2nd jump … High IQ player, who plays to his strengths and generally makes quick and precise decisions … Is an excellent passer for a guy who is generally considered a PF prospect (2 apg as a Fr.), and is a good decision maker as well … Moves well without the ball around the rim, and makes himself available for easy buckets … An alley-oop magnet with huge suction cup hands …Usually finishes with authority … Has a good enough 1st step to sporadically create his own shot on straight line drives to his right … Impressive defensive skills … Defended some at every position while at Arizona, and generally was excellent considering his relative inexperience … Contests every jump shot and is very disciplined on closeouts … Adequate shot-blocker … Understands the concept of help side defense better than a typical young player, which should allow him to play minutes immediately in the NBA … Very focused … An extremely well-conditioned athlete, who rarely gets tired or makes “lazy” plays … Seems like a great glue guy and role player, and isn’t the type of player who needs a lot of plays run for him to be effective … Will fit in well on a team in need to energy and athleticism … Pretty competitive player who doesn’t show a lack of effort often, which will always please his coaches … Still extremely young, won’t turn 19 until about a month or so before the 2014-2015 season …

Weaknesses: Gordon’s main weaknesses revolve around his lacking skill level on the offensive side of the ball …Despite being the 2nd leading scorer on an Arizona squad that almost made it to the Final 4, Gordon needs extensive improvement offensively … His ball-handling ability is not very good right now, and he loses significant effectiveness the more he dribbles the ball … Rarely looks comfortable with his back to the rim … Not blessed with a soft touch, which suggests he will continue to have his struggles as a jump shooter, and from the line … Doesn’t seem to have a lot of range on his shot, even though he can occasionally hit 22 footers … Struggled mightily at the foul line in his only year in school (42%) and needs to work on his form, develop a little more sense of urgency and develop a set routine which replicates his mid range shot, and eliminates the "long pause" … Has a very deliberate and slow shot, sometimes it looks like the ball barely rotates when he shoots … Physically, Gordon has adequate height and strength, but he could use a little more bulk to his frame … Could get sealed by bigger PF’s in the NBA due to his narrow frame … Not particularly lengthy … Some consider Gordon a bit of a tweener, it will be interesting to see what type of body weight he can ultimately carry comfortably … Was determined to show that he was a small forward, but scouts view him strictly as a 4 for the next level … Needs to work on his footwork, as he picks up traveling calls often when trying to create … Has high/tight hips and it sometimes shows in his lateral movements … Has a very awkward running style, and while some compare it to Rodman with the way he runs on his toes, Gordon’s extremely short stride has drawn some concerns … Though very good on the offensive glass, Gordon sometimes shows raw awareness on the defensive glass and will forget to box out or be in the wrong places when the ball has been shot …

Overall: Considered a high character guy … Gordon is a very good run-jump athlete and he also is a pretty high IQ guy as well … He enjoyed a pretty solid overall season at Arizona and answered a few of the questions about him as an NBA prospect … He needs to work on his offensive skills and polish his game more, as well as pack on a few more pounds, but he really has good role player potential and he plays with high energy … He more than likely will be the youngest player drafted in the 2014 draft, which speaks to his potential for improvement … If Gordon is drafted with the idea of becoming a high level role player instead than a franchise changing star, his outlook is extremely bright … Look for Gordon to be a top 20 pick at least, and a likely lottery selection …

Jorrye Nixon 5/12/14

Strengths: A freakish athlete with incredible explosiveness who has been dominant throughout his HS career … Has rare physical gifts with his great length, leaping ability and body control … Huge, strong hands allow him to grab rebounds and corral ally oops with ease, a skill that is underrated and many NBA players lack … Has an excellent basketball body and is well developed physically with broad, cut shoulders and arms … Good conditioning. Capable of playing an entire HS game and barely appears winded … Well spoken kid who seems to have a solid understanding of what he does well and plays to his strengths … Does a solid job of forcing the issue and drawing contact to get to the line … Has some back to the basket skills with the ability to gain position on the block and create a wide target and overpower opponents, outclassing them with his great size, strength and athleticism … Shows some ability to handle the ball in the open floor and has decent speed when he gets a head of steam …

Weaknesses: His game shows a lot of potential, but he’s far from a finished product … His shooting ability is troublesome. He shoots roughly 50% from the FT line and has no consistency outside of the paint … Tweener. Doesn’t have a well defined NBA position at this point. While he has tremendous explosiveness, he lacks perimeter skills (shooting, passing) and great foot speed. Lack of foot speed hurts him on both ends of the floor as it limits his on ball perimeter defensive efficiency as well as his ability to get by opponents off the dribble … Foot work is not very good for a high level athlete … While he is an elite athlete, his general quickness is not at an elite level … Shows some developed ball handling ability but his lack of foot speed negates that ability to some degree. He gets nearly all of his points playing as a 4, and there are major questions about his ability to create offense for himself facing the basket. Granted, he’s by far the tallest player on his high school team, so playing anything other than center is irrational from a team standpoint … Plays too upright defensively. Looks a little stiff in his movements. While his physical strength is good, he appears to lack some flexibility in his body. Ankles and hips lack fluidity as he appears to run and move more like a 4 than a 3 … Has been called "California soft" by some observers, but to his credit doesn’t shy away from contact. He’ll need to get a lot tougher if he decides that PF is his best position for the NBA level … 

Notes: Is coming off a broken foot which sidelined him for the majority of the summer. So his athleticism/fluidity may not be back to 100% … How much that injury is still affecting him is a consideration … Younger brother of former New Mexico PF Drew Gordon … His recruitment is down to 3 schools: Kentucky, Washington and Arizona … Having gone to a prep school for his senior year probably would have helped in his one and done aspirations (level of competition), although he seems to be focused and has played high level competition throughout the summers in AAU ball … Measured 6’8 (in shoes) 207 lbs, with a 6’11 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy … Measured 6’9 (in shoes) 212 lbs, with a 6’11.5 wingspan and 8’10.5 reach at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit

Aran Smith 1/14/13

September 9, 2012

YouTube Clip – 6/21/2010