Orlando Magic select Aaron Gordon fourth overall


In a bit of a surprising move, the Orlando Magic select Aaron Gordon, the hyper-athletic forward out of the University of Arizona. 

Gordon gives the Magic a player who can step in and immediately impact the game defensively. Gordon’s not just a great defender because of his athleticism, but also because he displays uncanny timing and footwork for such a young player. 

Offensively, Gordon is very much a work in progress. For one, he can’t shoot, like, at all. He can finish lobs at the rim and dunk with the best of them, but don’t ask him to hit a jump shot, at least not yet. Worse than his field goal percentage, however, is Gordon’s free throw percentage. It was legendarily bad in his only year at Arizona, as he shot just 42.2% from the line. All that being said, it’s not as if he’s completely offensively inept, just that he’ll be a work in progress. That’s fine for a team that’s still progressing through their rebuild.

The question Gordon’s presence presents (clever, right?) is what happens with all of Orlando’s other forwards. Currently, they have Andrew Nicholson, Maurice Harkless, Kyle O’Quinn and Tobias Harris on their roster. Harris projects as the starter,  O’Quinn mostly plays center and Harkless splits time between the two and the three. Nicholson, meanwhile, is often the odd man out, evidenced by his precipitous sophomore slump. Will Gordon force Nicholson further down the depth chart, perhaps even instigating a trade? Will he be able to play alongside Harkless, who also struggles to space the floor? 

Rob Hennigan and Jacque Vaughn of course knew these answers would be present when they drafted Gordon. It will be a challenge, but an exciting one, as Vaughn now has another potentially premier perimeter defender to pair with Victor Oladipo.