Gordon's Arizona tenure could be short but sweet
JUL 01, 2013 3:44p ET
Big Lead's Jason McIntyre took an early stab at the 14 NBA lottery picks for 2014 and predicted not one but two Wildcats among the first 14: Sophomore center Kaleb Tarczewski at No. 12 to Portland, and freshman forward Aaron Gordon at No. 3 -- to Dallas, surpringly enough. (McIntyre's disclaimer: I did this exercise last year, and as you can see from that link, it was built on hype and high school reputation and potential. Only two of the 14 lottery picks were remotely accurate.)
McIntyre has this to say about Gordon: "The next Blake Griffin? Highly-skilled forward takes the torch from Dirk. If (Andrew) Wiggins weren’t in the draft, Gordon is a contender to go 1st."
We can only assume if McIntyre is close to correct that both Arizona big men will have impressive seasons and be ready to leave school ... perhaps because they have nothing left to prove at the college level ... perhaps after leading the Wildcats to a Final Four ... or better?
As for the here and now, Gordon is coming off the bench for the Team USA at the Under-19 National Championships in Prague and leads the team in scoring (13.8 points per game) and rebounding (7.0 per game) while helping the team to four easy wins through Monday's play.
By the way, McIntyre predicts another rough year for the Suns, dropping one more notch from this past season to No. 4 in the draft order, where he predicts they'll take freshman forward Julius Randle out of Kentucky.
All in good fun, mind you, since no one can say which players will declare for the draft, and Big Lead isn't the only one to engage in such shenanigans.
CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish and draftexpress.com also have Gordon going third in 2014 (no team specified) -- behind Wiggins and Randle. Parrish goes only 14 deep and doesn't list Tarczewski; draftexpress.com goes a full two rounds without mentioning Tarczewski but has ASU point guard Jahii Carson at pick No. 17.
NBADraft.net, meanwhile, sees things a bit differently. It doesn't project Gordon coming out after his freshman season but lists Tarczewski at No. 14 and Carson as a second rounder (37th overall).
Probably best if everyone withholds judgment for a bit.