The Orlando Magic selected 6’9” forward Aaron Gordon from Arizona with the fourth pick. The Magic were reportedly trying to move up to the first overall pick, but those conversations ended quickly after the team traded away key trade asset Arron Afflalo earlier on Thursday and the Magic ultimately went with Gordon.
“I’ve been waiting for this day all my life, literally all my life,” Gordon said. “I played basketball all my life. This was my biggest aspiration. Not my biggest, but one of the few biggest aspirations that I’ve ever had is to play in the NBA and compete against the highest level.”
Gordon is touted as a guy that will be able to guard positions two through four. Gordon’s athleticism and speed will provide the Magic the ability to guard opposing forwards without much help.
Speculation prior to the draft had the Magic possibly looking at a point guard with the fourth pick, but Gordon reportedly wowed them in his workout with them, showcasing skills they didn’t realize he possessed.
“When I got to Orlando, they just liked my game,” said Gordon. “They liked my skill set. They know how hard I worked, and I’m going to continue to do that. What I’ve done to get myself here will never fade away. That’s who I am. Everything else, I’m just going to start adding on and continue adding on.”
While Gordon isn’t necessarily a great shooter, his defensive versatility and activity more than help make up for it. Gordon displayed a 39-inch leaping ability, is one of the youngest players in the draft and has a really emerging all-around skill set.
“I bring energy,” said Gordon on what he brings to the Magic. “I bring defense. I bring a mismatch problem, and I just bring a high character teammate.”
Gordon’s addition to the team will add competition in the frontcourt between Tobias Harris, Kyle O’Quinn and Andrew Nicholson. The Magic were viewed as a team that would likely take the best available player versus draft based off of need and Gordon was their guy with the fourth pick.
“I know they’re a very young talented team,” Gordon said. “I know with a few missing pieces or a few pieces, we could be very good.”
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