Pacers cool on IU's Gordon

May 28, 2008
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augustinThe Indiana Pacers won’t likely have a shot at Indiana’s Eric Gordon in next month’s National Basketball Association draft. Most hoops prognosticators project Gordon to go seventh or eighth in the June 26 draft either to the L.A. Clippers or Milwaukee Bucks.

But even if Gordon is available, sources close to the Pacers said Larry Bird, president of basketball operations, isn’t sold on his ability to be an impact player at the professional level. There is apparently concern about Gordon’s overall speed, size and ability to shoot consistently under pressure. At 6-foot-3, Gordon is small for a shooting guard, and sources said Bird doesn’t think he will be a suitable NBA point guard.

The top draftees, along with team executives and coaches, are gathering this week in Orlando for one of the biggest pre-draft camps. So, rumors are flying and only promise to get thicker.

Oddly, there’s a rumbling coming out of New York that new Knicks chief Donnie Walsh--Bird’s former boss at Indiana--could take Gordon with the No. 6 selection.

Gordon, who played only one year at IU, scored more points than any freshman in school history, but was plagued by a late-season shooting slump. Gordon played primarily the shooting guard position at IU, but did a fair amount of ball handling.

Team executives generally keep their cards close to the vest and say little about potential draftees this close to the draft. The Pacers will be looking for a pure point guard, perhaps Texas’ D.J. Augustin, if he’s still available.

Other point guards available in this draft will be USC’s O.J. Mayo and Memphis’ Derrick Rose, but they will be long gone by the time the Pacers pick with the No. 11 selection.

If Augustin is unavailable, and the Pacers are bent on getting a point guard to eventually replace Jamal Tinsley, available selections could be UCLA’s Russell Westbrook, Arizona’s Jerryd Bayless or North Carolina’s Ty Lawson. Bayless is projected to go higher, but could slip a little.

Draft prognosticators have IU’s D.J. White going anywhere from No. 31 to Minnesota to No. 35 to the Clippers. Rumors circulated recently that Detroit would take White with the No. 29 pick, but Joe Dumars, Pistons president of basketball operations, refuted that rumor.
  • I will say gordon made it interesting to watch IU last year. However, his dribbling skills are less than marginal and will struggle in the NBA if defended. Key point there is if defended. Defense is heavy in the playoffs, but through the season it is pretty weak. So like his brief stint at IU, he could look good during the regular season, and coloapse when it counts.
  • Also his strategy of grab the ball, charge to the hoop, flail randomly about, throw up a sloppy shot that has no chance of going in and get a foul called won't cut it in the NBA.
  • Let's see the Pacers need a fan favorite. Whatever you do Larry don't take the local kid who went to the local school. As a former season ticket holder I would return to watch Gordon play.

    I'm betting this will go down as the dumbest move in Pacer history. I'm sorry second dumbest move. The first one was giving Larry complete control of the team.
  • When Donnie pulled the trigger on Reggie Miller, he already had a track record here in the making. Larry Legend has no such track record as of yet in the front office. So he better be right. This is his first major, and likely biggest decision. He can't afford to misfire now. If Gordon gets away and does well somewhere else and Legend's draft choice is another Sarunus bust-o-rama, well, Larry will likely have to hit the road.
  • Bird's going to take him if available, no question and no smokescreen can hide that. The thing is they DONT need a fan favorite; they need to win. Otherwise the crowds will get even smaller and companies will abandon them as well since many are complaining they can't afford both the Fieldhouse and the new Lucas Overbudget Stadium.
  • DJ AUGUSTIN or RUSSELL WESTBROOK at PG and trade Tinsley for anything: bench player, nachos, the other team's washing machine, whatever.

    Kevin Love is falling slightly in the mock drafts, that would be interesting, but we can get talent at PF/C in return for Jermaine. We have a few other possibly tradeable players and can assemble a decent trade package.

    Jermaine and Tinsley out. DJ Augustin and a PF in.

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