By Demario Phipps-Smith @DemarioPSmith on March 28, 2014
The NBA is not for every really talented college basketball player. At least not right away. Some of the best talents have played two or more years in college. For every one-and-done player who is successful, there are at least two who aren’t. When scouts refer to a player as an “NBA talent”, that does not mean the player is NBA-ready. Arizona's Aaron Gordon is talented, but here are five reason why he's not ready for NBA play.
Kansas' Joel Embiid will probably be the first big man taken in the draft this year. There is also plenty of high-end talent available, so it may be in Gordon’s best interest to stay another year. While there are talented bigs in next year’s college ranks, few will have the experience of Gordon.
This year, there may not be many players moving around to different teams in the NBA. If Gordon waits a year, there is a chance he will be a piece to a team’s championship run with other high-profile players. If he waits, he could possibly play with LeBron James.
Every college prospect should work on his shot. It’s one part of a player's game that can constantly get better and has no ceiling; the more you shoot, the better you get at it. This season, Gordon is shooting 49 percent from the field and a poor 42 percent from the free throw line. He will be able to use his athleticism more effectively if he develops a consistent mid-range game.
At this stage of his career, Gordon is primarily an effort scorer. He receives a majority of his points from put-backs and second-chance opportunities. NBA bigs will be larger than him, so it is important for Gordon to be able to post and face up defenders. It takes an extended period of time for most frontcourt men to learn an applicable repertoire of post moves, so another year of growing won’t hurt.
For an above-average athlete, Gordon is not very quick laterally. This has hurt him against quicker players and affects him on both ends of the floor in the paint. His footwork is lacking and will deter him from developing a productive post game.
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