The number eight spot on Brew Hoop's 2014 NBA Draft Board belongs to Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona. Gordon was the centerpiece of the NCAA's top rated defense, according to Kenpom.com, and he looks capable of stepping in as a top-flight defender from day one. Gordon has good size (about 6'9" in shoes, almost 7' wingspan) and quickness, and already shows fantastic instincts as an individual defender. He's extremely athletic, and his low block totals can be explained in a similar fashion to a shutdown cornerback's low interception totals: he does his best work before the shot even goes up. Gordon should quickly be capable of tangling with the NBA's best forwards, and could likely hold his own against many professional centers.
He'd be much higher on everybody's board if his offensive game could match. Gordon averaged 12.4 points per game for the Wildcats and shot almost 50% from the floor, but his true shooting percentage was a disappointing 50.0, dragged down in large part by his terrible free throw shooting (42% on 4.7 attempts per game). On the bright side, he's a surprisingly capable ball handler, given his position. While Gordon is more than capable of finishing some dazzling alley-oops and offensive put-backs, he's not going to be much of a shot-creator himself, at least not without a lot of work. Still, players with less defensive potential and athleticism have carved out long careers, and Gordon is still very young.
2014 Brew Hoop Draft Board
1. Joel Embiid - C, Kansas
2. Jabari Parker - F, Duke
3. Andrew Wiggins - G/F, Kansas
4. Dante Exum - G, Australia
5. Marcus Smart - PG, Oklahoma State
6. Julius Randle - PF, Kentucky
7. Noah Vonleh - PF, Indiana
8. Aaron Gordon - F, Arizona
Only two picks to go before our Top Ten is complete!