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NBA Draft Rumor: Celtics "locked in" to draft Aaron Gordon

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

One name that keeps coming up as a potential pick at number 6 (assuming the Celtics haven't traded the pick away) is Aaron Gordon of Arizona.  Today we got a few more murmurs of that sort.

NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins top new-look lottery - NBA - Chris Mannix - SI.com

Several league sources believe that Celtics GM Danny Ainge is locked in on Gordon. While Gordon's shooting is a concern, he is a strong rebounder and shot blocker who can defend either forward spot and has been compared to Shawn Marion. A trade is possible here, too. Ainge is always on the lookout for a make a blockbuster deal, and with Boston's assets he is more than equipped to do so.

Chat: Chat with Chad Ford - SportsNation - ESPN

Tom (Syracuse) I've heard that the Celtics are locked in on Aaron Gordon. Doesn't that seem a little high for him when there could be impact scorerers like Randle on the board? What do they see?

Chad Ford  (1:38 PM) It's not too high for Gordon. I love him. Elite athlete. Crazy energy. A nose for the ball. Fills up a stat sheet. Still one of the youngest players in the draft. Highly competitive. He's the least polished offensively, but he's another guy, like Wiggins, you can put on the floor and he makes an impact Day One defensively. Smart, Vonleh and Randle are all good options too. But if those are the four guys on the board, I think the Cs are leaning Gordon right now.

The primary knock on Gordon has been his jumpshot.  Here's an interesting set of quotes from his Arizona teammate Nick Johnson.

NBA Mock Draft 2014: Aaron Gordon a main focus of Boston Celtics  | masslive.com

"He definitely needs to improve his shot, but he works really hard so I believe he'll do that. About halfway through the season this year, people started backing off of him. It was tough the first few games because he didn't know what to do, but I think it showed how crafty and creative he is offensively to still continue to score when people backed off of him. ... That's something that not a lot of people see, but the people that understand the game can see that he has some creativity to him. "The thing with him is he needed to be confident in his jumper. Don't catch the ball and jab, and jab, and then shoot because he's not on you. Catch it ready to shoot and have confidence in it. I think if you saw, going into the Pac-12 tournament and NCAA tournament, he was doing that, and he was hitting shots."

That kind of sounds like a certain point guard we have in town, doesn't it?  When the shot isn't falling, instead of forcing it, he's smart enough to find success in other ways.  He's also working on making it better.  That's no guarantee of future success, but the right work ethic seems to be there.