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2014 NBA Draft: Aaron Gordon gets scouted anonymously

Grantland's Ryen Russillo talks to scouts to get their read on Aaron Gordon.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

ESPN's Ryen Russillo talked with three NBA scouts about Arizona Wildcats forward Aaron Gordon and his NBA potential, and nothing they said was all that surprising.

It was how it was said that's quite fascinating.

All three scouts who were questioned complimented Gordon's character and work ethic. They all acknowledged he must become a better shooter. And they all pointed out that he will be a top-10 pick despite lacking something that for other players can make or break careers.

The following are select excerpts from Russillo's complete article over at Grantland.

Scout 1:

I think he's Shawn Marion.

Here's why I like Gordon, and it's rare for me (my teams have always been about shooting; you need it to win). It's simple: Gordon impacts the game without being a shooter. It's hard to do that. He knows 100 percent what he is. Jabari Parker will take a million bad shots; Gordon already knows he can't take them.

...

For me to be this complimentary to a kid that isn't a shooter is rare. He just needs to develop as a representative shooter over time, to at least be a guy you have to put a defender on. I hear he can't make 3s - who the fuck cares? Sixteen-footer, 33 percent from 3, five years from now? That's all you'll need.

Scout 2:

Great motor. Great kid. Great teammate. He's the only guy, along with Embiid and Wiggins, where the attraction is defense first.

...

Owners drafting high want offense. Think about draft night - "Hey, we drafted a really versatile defensive specialist." How's that going to go over?

Scout 3:

Offensively, his game is he's going to get fouled, he's an attacker. But he has to start making his free throws. Today it's a joke. He shot 3s in college. He thought it was part of his game. It isn't.

There are two things you usually get better at in our league: shooting and getting stronger. I think he will do both. He's a worker, so I think he gets better. But his ceiling is probably [as] an adequate shooter.