Speculation heats up about Gordon

April 14, 2008
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ericNow that Indiana University freshman Eric Gordon has announced his decision to enter the National Basketball Association draft, speculation about the 19-year-old’s future is running rampant.

Draft analysts predict Gordon will be chosen anywhere from sixth to 12th in the upcoming draft. One concern is his height. ESPN basketball analyst Chris Broussard thinks Gordon might be overstating his height by an inch or two. If that’s true, it could push Gordon down in the draft order, costing him millions of dollars. Each of the 14 NBA lottery picks are guaranteed a three-year multi-million contract, but each spot from the top is marked by a salary decrease set by the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Gordon is listed at 6-foot-4 in Indiana’s media guide, but Broussard, who has covered the NBA for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and New York Times before coming to ESPN, said several NBA team officials are skeptical of that measurement. At least two teams--the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers--are very interested in Gordon, draft analysts said.

Gordon averaged 20.9 points per game as a shooting guard for IU last year. Broussard said Gordon could encounter some of the same challenges faced by former IU guard Bracey Wright. Many consider Wright, 23, too short to play shooting guard and not a good enough ball handler to play point guard. He has spent his post-IU career bouncing between the end of the Minnesota Timberwolves bench and the NBA Developmental League.

“One thing Eric Gordon has, though,” Broussard said, “is great upper body strength. That can make a big difference.”

RealGM.com, an NBA draft analyst Web site, gives Gordon a 90-percent chance of becoming an NBA starter, 45- percent chance of becoming an All-Star and 10-percent chance of becoming an NBA Hall of Famer.

“Scoring guards of his height like Dwyane Wade, Gilbert Arenas and Ben Gordon are all athletically superior to Gordon, though like a Carmelo Anthony, he is exceptionally ‘basketball athletic,’ especially with the ball,” RealGM.com concluded.
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  • Some smart people at SFX certainly see potential in Eric Gordon. I hear Mike Conley Sr. and other agents have also been sniffing around. Regardless of his height, he's one of the best pure scorers I've seen at the college level ... and players with the ability to score like Gordon will find a place in the league.
  • Although EJ's numbers were good at IU I was still a little upset with his season; In my mind he did not live up to all the hype. However, I certainly think there is a place for him in the league and that he will eventually develop into an all-star caliber player. The frequent traveling calls that he encountered in college will be absent in the NBA, and I believe this will help him appear to be a better ball handler and eliminate some of his turnovers. I have stood next to him and believe him to be a full 6-4, but even if he is slighlty smaller his athleticism and strength will mask that as well. Overall, I think Eric is actually better suited for the NBA and that he will be remembered as a better professional player than college player considering the way he finished his career at Indiana.
  • Hes every bit of 6' 4 and built like a safety. I ve stood next to him also and hes tall. He'll be just fine...i dont think the Pacers will solve all of their problems in the draft so if hes available they could do a nice PR boost by grabbing him.q
  • Because the IU season was scarred by an unfortunate web of a Coach's idiotic actions and a vengeful NCAA, we like to pin the negative feelings on the main figures of that team... hence Gordon's mixed support. He had the (depending on which figures you look at pre-tourney or entire season) highest scoring freshman season in Big Ten history. You can't spin that around any way to not make that sound like the remarkable feat that it was. He is a gifted player, but the odd thing is he is more built for the NBA than he is the college game. His driving capabilities, ability to draw the foul, long range shot, defense, and calm demeanor, all suit the NBA game perfectly. He is built well and plays long, both wingspan, use of arms, and size, regardless of height and will be a solid combo SG/PG. Oh, and the kid is 19 years old, give him the benefit of adding some talent to his already elite game for his age. Sure he could use some better judgement on when to dish, careless passes, and sometimes when to shoot, his scoring efficiency (points per shot)ranks up there with some of college's best over the last few years. Because you may have ill-will toward IU, don't let that tarnish this kids star potential. But, the Pacers unfortunately don't need him this year, I'll take him just because it's him, but they need either a true Point or someone to replace Jermaine.

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