Why Aaron Gordon Would Fit Perfectly with the Sacramento Kings
With the Sacramento Kings slotted to pick 8th in this year’s draft, it’s imperative this team finds a perfect prospect that will help expediate the rebuilding process and bring winning back to a franchise that hasn’t had an above .500 record since 2005.
We’ve seen the team struggle to identify top-tier talent over the last few years, from Jason Thompson (12th pick) to Thomas Robinson (5th pick) and even last year’s selection Ben McLemore (7th pick but could still turn things around).
However unlike last year’s draft (considered to be one of the worst in recent memory), this one provides a deep class like no other, loaded with highly regarded prospects all across the board and plenty of options for any team in the lottery.
So who in the world should the Kings take to get out of the dreaded draft-purgatory and hopefully back into the respectable category once again?
Arizona big man Aaron Gordon.
Why It Makes Sense?
When analyzing the Kings stats this year, you learn one thing right away:
This team desperately needs help on both ends of the floor.
According to NBA.com, they ranked 20th in offensive rating and 23rd in defensive rating out of all teams in the league this season, two numbers that indicate there’s plenty of issues to go around with this franchise.
However when you delve deeper into the team’s offensive struggles, it’s clear the underlying cause for their inadequate scoring production is really due to their lackluster bench, as the starting lineup ranked an impressive 10th in points per game while the second unit ranked a putrid 23rd (indicating they don’t need to add another scorer like Doug McDermott into the starting lineup).
So what about their issues on the defensive end of the floor?
Well for one, the Kings allowed opponents to score 103.4 points per game, however after scouring the stats page on NBA.com, I actually found the chief reason for that number was due to their poor interior defense, just check out these stats:
- -29th worst in opponent field goal percentage from less than 5 feet away
- -27th worst in opponent field goal percentage from 5-9 feet away
- -24th in opponents field goal percentage in the paint
- -27th in blocks per game
- -1st in opponent field goal percentage from 10-14 feet away
- -5th in opponent field goal percentage from 14-19 feet away
See the contrast in numbers?
This is why Sacramento needs to target a defensive minded big man like Aaron Gordon, who can protect the paint and serve as a perfect frontcourt mate to DeMarcus Cousins, who’s notorious for being a subpar defender inside.
Gordon’s numbers speak for himself. The power forward out of Arizona not only led the Pac 12 conference in defensive win shares (as well as the nation) but also in offensive rebounding and defensive rating.
He also can help boost the Kings trouble in the blocking department, as he averaged 1 block per game and ranked 9th in total blocks, utilizing his 6’9″ frame to strike fear into opponents and swat shots away with ease.
Gordon is also a very versatile defender, willing to guard any position on the floor even if it’s a bruising 7’0″ center or a lightning quick floor general.
“I’m capable of playing multiple positions,” Gordon said. “It is OK to play multiple positions. It’s not like you have to be locked into one. I’m a forward. You can put me at the 1. You can put at the 5. You can put me at the 2. You can put me at the 3. You can put me at the 4. It doesn’t matter. I’m a basketball player. I can do pretty much everything out there and that’s what I intend on doing.”
What’s even more impressive is how much he enjoys stopping opponents and wreaking havoc on the defensive end of the floor.
“I love defense just as much as scoring,” Gordon said. “It’s really fun to me to make sure that guy can’t score. I love playing both ends of the floor and I think that’s what makes a true great basketball player.”
Follow Evan Caulfield on Twitter @fieldhoops