Aaron Gordon was the surprise pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, so it came as no shock that he would receive some hate on social media for his lack of superstar talent. Some fans have already decided his NBA fate as a bust who will be unable to match the skill level of his high draft pick. You know what I say: So what?
As I said in this space on draft day, Gordon is still kind of raw when it comes to his offensive skills. But that is not why the Orlando Magic drafted him. The Magic already have a wealth of offensive talent on their front line, with Tobias Harris developing into an All-Star caliber forward, and Nikola Vucevic becoming one of the top centers in the NBA. Orlando does not need Gordon to score over 20 points a game. What they need from his is defense and rebounding to take the pressure off of Vucevic in the paint.
That is what Gordon will provide. He was a defensive menace in college and will be one in Orlando. But somehow, some fans believe that you need to become the next superstar in order to be selected high on the draft board. If the Magic were all about hype, then Dante Exum would be in Orlando right now.
So can we please stop calling Gordon a bust? Gordon is not the 20 points per game scorer that some fans want him to be, but he plays with toughness and tenacity. He is a gifted rebounder who can defend any position on the court. That is the player the Magic needed and the player the Magic got.
It’s time to stop calling him a bust.