Arizona's Gordon would bring youth, desire to C's

Arizona's Gordon would bring youth, desire to C's
June 12, 2014, 3:00 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — The twitter-sphere was abuzz a couple weeks ago when former Arizona forward Aaron Gordon was spotted on a Red Line train in Boston.

A clandestine workout for the Celtics perhaps?

Not quite.

He later tweeted that he was in town for his sister's graduation from Harvard.

Seeing him napping on the train isn't what stood out.

It was the basketball firmly gripped in his lap even while he was getting a little shut-eye, that left an indelible impression on Celtics Nation.

"I don't know if I saw it until the next day," Gordon said of the picture that made the rounds via social media. "It was funny. It was like, 'whoa. That's me!'"

It was a fitting image of Gordon, a player seemingly always on the move with a basketball not too far away.

That talent catapulted him to being a third-team All-American this past season at Arizona, and is among the many reasons why the Celtics are giving serious consideration to selecting him with their No. 6 overall pick.

There have been reports that he is indeed a favorite of the Celtics at No. 6 despite there being some uncertainty as to exactly where this 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward will play. Gordon was among six draft prospects who worked out for the Celtics on Thursday.

"Teams get this misconception that I'm caught up on a position," Gordon said. "I'm not caught up on a position. I'm coming to play any position that you want me to play and I'll guard any position that you want me to play."

While there are some who wonder where Gordon will play on the floor, the Celtics see his versatility as an asset.

"He'll be able to guard almost every position on the court," said Austin Ainge, the Celtics' director of player personnel. "And that's really his strength. He's a great defender, and he handles the ball pretty well for his size. He's going to have to continue improving his shooting, but he's a worker."

It is that work ethic that helped propel him to being one of the most sought-after high school players prior to signing with Arizona.

For Gordon to be a lottery pick (top-14) after just one season in college is not surprising.

Ranked among the top four players nationally by just about every recruiting service, Gordon was considered a can't-miss prospect even if his position on the floor was unclear as well as him being the draft's youngest player (he's 23 days younger than Noah Vonleh).

Ainge reiterated that Gordon's perimeter shooting is indeed an area he needs to continue to work at improving.

But the fact that he's so young can only help in that regard.

"He's got a lot of time and his work ethic ... he's great," Ainge said. "I think he'll get better."

As the youngest player in the draft, Gordon doesn't give it much thought.

"You don't wear a little number around your chest," Gordon said. "When you're on the court, age doesn't matter. Nobody knows how old you are. Nobody cares how old you are. I try to carry myself with the utmost maturity and try and show I belong out there and even thrive out there, whether that's to my teammates, my coaches or to my fans."