Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Drew Gordon

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Info

  • Measurables: 6-foot-9, 245 pounds, senior F from New Mexico
  • Key Stats: 13.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks per game, 54 percent from the field
  • Projected: Early second round
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Why I’m intrigued by this guy

OK, first thing’s first … when Sports Illustrated did it’s exposé a few months back on the UCLA program, unveiling the shocking findings that — GASP! — sometimes college kids party and do drugs, Drew Gordon, a former UCLA player, was one of the athletes whose name appeared throughout that story. It was potentially ruinous to the reputation of a player who would be trying to convince NBA teams to draft him in a few months. But I don’t care about the story or any of the allegations all that much. Nothing in it would give me much pause if I were considering drafting Gordon. What I love is Gordon’s mature reaction to it. From the San Jose Mercury News:

Once people get a sense of my character and have a chance to see how I really act, they’ll realize that the impression of that article is not accurate,” he said.

Then Gordon laughed.

“But I’ll give them this: It sure was an entertaining read,” he added.

He left the team in December 2009 and quickly landed in New Mexico. It was in Albuquerque where Gordon began to understand how much of a hit his reputation had taken.

“When I first transferred, I had people tell me that they were expecting some thug from the Bay Area and that I was going to have this attitude,” he said. “But what I’ve learned the last few years is that it’s not worth getting all worked up over what people might think and just try to show them who you really are.”

He quickly became a fan favorite at the Pit, New Mexico’s raucous arena. Last season the power forward averaged 13.7 points and 11.1 rebounds and was named the Mountain West Conference tournament MVP. He led the Lobos to a 28-7 record and into the NCAA tournament’s second round.

“All I know is he’s been a great player, an incredible person and a great teammate for us,” New Mexico coach Steve Alford said earlier this year. ” … He’s done everything we asked him to do.”

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com talked to Gordon at the Draft Combine in Chicago and tweeted this:

Drew Gordon easily passes eye test, impressive kid.

Pros for the Pistons

If a talent like Gordon is still on the board when the Pistons pick early in the second round, he’ll be tough to pass up. He’s big, he’s a great finisher, he’s athletic, he runs the floor well, he rebounds well … all of those things sound like they’d be awfully useful in Detroit’s frontcourt. I’m particularly intrigued by his ability to move without the ball and finish. Greg Monroe worked really well with a big man who fit that description — Chris Wilcox — during his rookie season. Monroe would definitely find a player like Gordon moving to the basket on passes from the high post.

Cons for the Pistons

Gordon isn’t a stick figure or anything, but like all college big men, he’ll need to get stronger to be a reliable NBA rotation player. He’s also not the most polished post-up player, not that that matters much since Monroe will be the one getting the bulk of Detroit’s touches in post-up situations.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

Positives
  • Long athlete
  • Good hands
  • Explosive leaper, quick off the floor
  • Runs the floor well
  • Midrange jump shot
  • Solid rebounder
  • Shot-blocker
  • Plays well without the ball
Negatives
  • No post game
  • Poor footwork
  • Lacks basketball IQ
  • Needs to add strength

DraftExpress:

Defensively, Gordon plays with intensity and offers some versatility thanks to his solid size and athleticism. Using his body better than he did last season to defend the post thanks to improved fundamentals, the California native is able to keep up with face-up fours in the midrange as well. Gordon is a physical defender who contests shots, gets a bit overaggressive at times and could stand to maximize his frame to help him fight his man for position on the block on the next level. His lateral quickness is good, but not great out on the perimeter, and he blocked shots at a respectable rate thanks to his length and motor. Gordon may not be a playmaker defensively, but his ability to hold his own at and away from the rim is a plus.

What is the best thing Drew Gordon does for his team?

Mundo Carillo is the sports editor for The Daily Lobo, New Mexico’s student newspaper:

Plain and simple, Drew Gordon is a strong inside presence.  In my opinion, his strongest attributes are his rebounding and his strength inside the post.  At the Division I level, he was pushing guys around like they were nothing.  He averaged 13 points and ten rebounds in his two years as a Lobo. Since he was so strong in the post, the only doubt I might have about him is his outside game, since he didn’t really showcase it here at New Mexico.  This might be a problem when he’s going up against taller and stronger players in the NBA and he’s not able to shoot from a safe distance.

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