Utah Jazz Draft Profile: Aaron Gordon – Arizona

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Arizona forward Aaron Gordon. Photo courtesy of http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/visual/whatshot/aaron_gordon_draft_stock.jpg

Aaron Gordon

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Who is Aaron Gordon?

At 6-8, many question which position Gordon will play in the NBA.  His situation reminds me of another 6-8 power forward out of Arizona; Derrick Williams.  In college, he was great and was a great scorer, but in the NBA, he’s not panned out and now the former #2 pick has been traded while still on his rookie contract . . . .

Which is what scares me about Aaron Gordon.  He’s undersized to be a power forward in the NBA, but he has shown to be an elite level defender in college.  At 6-8, if he is to play at the 4, he really needs to be a stretch 4 in the mold of another small-ish power forward named Paul Millsap.  If he can become a stretch 4, then he has a place in the league because he should be versatile enough to play the 4 but athletic enough to slide and defend the opponent’s best wing player.

He’s raw offensively.  If he can develop, he’s got a bright future.  If he doesn’t, the NBA will spit him back out.  They don’t love defensive-minded players nearly as much as they pretend to.

What is his role on an NBA team?

He will need to be a stretch 4 who can defend a LeBron James or a Kevin Durrant.  His role, at least initially, will be to provide an immediate impact at defense for one of these teams drawing in the lottery.  The teams that are drafting in the first 14 are all poor on defense or they wouldn’t be drafting from the lottery.  He’s projecting in the 6-10 range in most mock drafts I’ve seen which is where the Jazz could draft.  More likely is that he will end up replacing last year’s 1st pick, Anthony Bennett in Cleveland, Greg Monroe in Detroit, or the aforementioned Williams in Sacramento.

How does he fit with the Utah Jazz?

The question is, does he?  If he can’t play the wing, does he fit with the Jazz?  If he plays the power forward, what does that do to Derrick Favors?  If there is one lesson we learned this year, Faves can’t play the center position comfortably.  Can he?  Yes.  Should he? No.  Faves needs to be at the 4, and by all indications, the Jazz will probably retain Gordon Hayward.  At that point, do you have room for Aaron Gordon?  And if you brought him on, would he really be much of a difference maker on this team defensively?  Sorry, but I don’t see this being a good fit.  For either side.

See Gordon’s profile at Draft Express.

Watch Gordon’s Draft Express Scouting Video 

NBA comparison:

I’ve seen some comparison’s to Denver’s Kenneth Faried, but I’m afraid my best comparable is Derrick Williams; really good NBA player, but undersized for his position, oversized to play smaller, and fairly single-skilled.

About the author

Matt Quinney

I'm a BYU guy and I'm not going to apologize for my opinions, but I also am a graduate of the University of Utah so my allegiances go both ways. I've been a sports fan as long as I can remember and when I blog, you'll see a lot of Cougars, some Jazz and Utes, and an occasional post about RSL or even the Dallas Cowboys.