Magic sprung the first, somewhat surprise, on the night in taking Gordon at four.
The Orlando Magic bucked the players most suspected would be heading to Florida by picking former Arizona forward Aaron Gordon with the fourth pick of the 2014 NBA draft.
The athletic, defensively-minded Gordon said he had an excellent workout with the Magic and showed their scouts he had a few ticks up his sleeve they had not seen in his one outstanding season at Arizona.
As such they took a risk and picked the youngest player in the draft, not that Magic GM Rob Hennigan is worried.
“We’re very excited to add Aaron. As we went through the process, there were quite a few things about him that stood out that we grew to like,” Hennigan said of Gordon.
“Mainly his competitiveness, his desire to want to play team basketball and to impact the game in a variety of ways. His toughness, athleticism are good building blocks for him to develop into a good player.”
Many had tipped the Magic to try and build their side through the backcourt by taking Dante Exum or Julies Randle if either were still available.
However, Mock Drafts were correct in one aspect with the Magic adding an exciting guard to their roster when Hennigan pulled off one of the first trades of the draft by landing cat-quick 20-year-old point guard Elfrid Payton in exchange for the Magic’s No. 12 selection (Dario Saric) and two future draft picks.
Gordon said he was felt good about his performance in front of the Magic decision makers and said he was excited to get to work with the up-and-coming team of talent.
“There were probably 30 to 35 people sitting there, I found my jump shot and I shot the ball pretty well,’’ said Gordon, who doesn’t turn 19 years old until September.
“I knocked down my first jump shot and it kind of just relaxed me. I was a little nervous in the beginning, but after that I found my groove. They got me going up and down and once I found my groove I was all good.’’
Gordon, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward, impressed the Magic with his rare combination of strength, athleticism and speed. He can play both the small forward and power forward positions in certain lineups.
Gordon also prides himself on being a defensive stopper who can shut down both wing scorers and certain post players.
“Championships are won by defense. Obviously, I want to be a lockdown defensive player and I want to be a defensive player of the year at some point – that’s one of my aspirations,’’ Gordon said.
“I love to win and I want to continue to show the traits of a winner.’’