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Sports Business

Speculation heats up about Gordon

April 14, 2008
KEYWORDS Sports Business

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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