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May 21, 2014

Post-draft lottery: Where will Gordon land?

The NBA draft lottery was set Tuesday, and Aaron Gordon is projected just outside of the top five, and could be selected within the top 10. Gordon, along with other top projected lottery picks, was in attendance in New York City.

The Pac-12 Conference freshman of the year decided to forego his final three years of eligibility and enter the June 26 draft.

Gordon's stock rose when his level of played increased significantly in the later stages of the season. All signs pointed to the young forward being a lottery pick.

With the order set, here are some possibilities for Gordon's draft position. Keep in mind that the San Jose native's stock is not cemented like the other early prospects, so the possibility of dropping farther is not unlikely.

Boston Celtics, sixth pick

The Celtics are in a complete rebuild from their Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen days. They are looking to add another solid piece to complement All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. Gordon is a high-octane player with jaw-dropping athletic ability. Boston already has Jeff Green on the perimeter, but the fascinating part about Gordon's game is his versatility. He can play the power forward position, if needed.

Los Angeles Lakers, seventh pick

The Lakers are on the verge of a complete overhaul. Steve Nash is on the tail end of his historic career, and Kobe Bryant, coming off a string of injuries, is not the player he once was. The Lakers are in an interesting situation because Bryant, Nash and Robert Sacre are the only players under contract for next season. This leaves the Lakers in a "pick the best player available" situation. If Gordon is still on the board, he could fit the mold. On top of his athleticism, Gordon also is an exceptional rebounder on both ends of the floor.

Sacramento Kings, eighth pick

The Sacramento Kings lack a defensive identity, and that is where Gordon comes in. If they were to select Gordon, they would be drafting an astute defender who can guard multiple positions and can alter opponents' shots.

Charlotte Hornets, ninth pick

Gordon's motor would fit into the Hornets' system. They lack end-to-end hustle players, and Gordon would provide his relentless efforts every minute he is on the court. Last season, the Hornets' defense ranked fourth in the league, and Gordon is someone head coach Steve Clifford could incorporate into a defense-first system.

Philadelphia 76ers, 10th pick

The 76ers are one team Gordon might not have a place. They have the third pick, which could put them out of the running for Gordon, and already have a hybrid, athletic forward in Thaddeus Young. Gordon does not have Young's frame, but they are both comparable in regards to length, wingspan and attention-grabbing athletic ability.

Denver Nuggets, 11th pick

Like the 76ers, the Nuggets are set at the forward position and would likely create a logjam at the forward spot by drafting Gordon. Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph and Kenneth Faried are Denver's mainstays. Actually, Faired and Gordon are similar in playing style, creating a bigger gap between the Mile High City and Gordon.

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Joseph DuruakuJoseph Duruaku
GOAZCATS.com Staff Writer

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