Gordon talks about Sampson; Chad Ford talks about his draft position

  • 05/30/2008 8:07 am in

ejgordon001.jpgWith all of the NCAA allegations/recruiting news going on in Bloomington over the past month, we haven’t had a chance to update you on Eric Gordon and his NBA Draft stock. Gordon is down in Orlando participating in the “combine” portion of the pre-draft camp. Rather than working out, he’s being tested for strength, agility, speed and size.

He’s also going through some interviews and here’s what he told Jeff Rabjohns of The Indianapolis Star about his old buddy Kelvin Sampson:

“We had a real good relationship. After all the stuff I’ve been through in college with Illinois and Indiana and all that and for me to play for him my first year of college, we got pretty close. It’d be neat (to play for him in the NBA), but there’s a lot of other good coaches out there. I don’t want to just be specific on playing for him.”

Let me translate. Since I’m a really nice kid and don’t want to throw Kelvin under the bus, I’m going to say that I enjoyed playing for him, but I’m really looking forward to a fresh start. If I was Gordon, the last thing I’d want during my rookie season is to answer questions about IU and Sampson.

Meanwhile, ESPN draft guru Chad Ford has the latest on Gordon’s wrist and a list of teams that are interested in his services:

Gordon said his wrist is totally healed and he’s back to being a dead-eye behind the arc. The thing that stuck out to me about Gordon was his size. He is so wide for a guard. He looks like a 6-foot-4 power forward. Given his athleticism and quickness, that size will serve him well in the pros. He’s significantly bigger than Mayo or Jerryd Bayless.

Sources say that Gordon will likely fall to either Seattle at No. 4, the Knicks at No. 6 or the Clippers at No. 7. On potential, he could be the third- or fourth-best player in this draft. If his jumper is falling in workouts, his stock will be quickly repaired.

If Gordon shows that his wrist is 100% and has the range he exhibited early in the season, I see no reason why O.J. Mayo or Jerryd Bayless would go ahead of him. Gordon might be the best pure scorer in the draft and his body is more than NBA ready. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go to the disaster also known as the Knicks.

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  • MKH

    I disagree, Big A – I think the Knicks would be a fine place for Gordon, now that they've got a good coach and GM. Mike D'Antoni can surely put a scorer like him to very good use. He could become a superstar rather quickly.

  • Their roster is still awful and they're held hostage by some terrible contracts. I'd like to see him in Seattle with Durant and Jeff Green, personally.

    Take a look at some of these deals:


  • B_MD

    It's too bad Gordon doesn't have a handle, because he has the body/size and big time shooting that Chauncey Billups has. He's built the same way physically.

    If he had any PG skills at all he could be a similar player.

  • Yeah, that team is going to be bad for a year or two still, but by 2010 the cap situation is cleared up for them to add LeBron. If they can just commit to a longer rebuilding process, and maybe find a way to shuffle Eddy Curry and/or Zach Randolph out the door early, that team would be in a great situation. Be bad against next year and draft Brandon Jennings or maybe even Stephon Curry if he comes out.

    Gordon and LeBron would be a revelation in D'Antoni's system. None of his Suns teams had finishers like that.

  • Chauncey Billups didn't have PG skills until he came to the Pistons and got tutored by Larry Brown. Gordon has said he wants to be like Chauncey, the kid works hard, no reason why he could learn. I think he has more of a handle than we think, he just goes too fast for it.

  • B_MD

    Billups was a PG coming out of college and expected to play PG in the NBA. Gordon is considered a SG, not saying he can't improve, but Billups was much further along as a PG at this point.

  • MKH

    It's certainly true they've got some horrific deals on the books, but in terms of system and exposure New York would be amazing for him. And as noted below, the Knicks will almost certainly pick up a major star in 2010 (my money's been on LeBron as well) and be well positioned to win some games in that year.

  • JerryCT

    True, but keep in mind Gordon's college flaws will not appear so bad in the pros……….a) he can travel everytime he gets the ball , 2) does not have to create so much for others. I think his greatest challenges will be to 1) handle the NBA culture off the court and 2) handle defensive pressure from guys his size or bigger

  • True, but Gordon is a significantly more gifted player physically than Billups was. He is as good, if not a better shooter. And he is much, much quicker than Billups is, not to mention a more explosive leaper. I guess my point was that Gordon's problem might harnessing his athleticism. If he was less athletic, he might be a better point guard at this point in his career.

  • B_MD

    True about his athleticism and leaping ability. My point is that if Gordon could develop PG skills his height and size would be even greater assets.

    What makes Billups such a great player is that he is so much stronger and bigger than other PG's in the NBA. Same with Deron Williams, and Gordon has those same assets. But both of those guys have good handle and can run an offense.

  • MikeinNC

    I don't think the Knicks would be a bad place for him with D'Antoni and Walsh there….he would have a strong coach that can help him develop his offensive skills – he needs to learn how to move without the ball, and he needs to improve his judgment about when to shoot, drive, or pass…..and Walsh will keep their fool of an owner from mucking things up in the organization going forward…..the biggest worry to me would be that NYC is such a tough media market for a young kid starting their career. He better grow a thick skin. He's going to get interviewed by reporters that are a tad more aggressive than Hutchens, Bozich, and Kravitz…

  • Kelin Blab

    As long as EJ stays away from KS I would be happy for him. Also, I have heard that EJ has been working out primarily on two things….a pull up J and his handle. He will be ok.

  • hoosierbeat

    I'm a huge Knicks and IU fan, and I dont want Gordon on my NBA team…All we need is someone who turns the ball over 8 times a game, what I saw the last 8 games of the IU season made me sick, maybe he was just trying too hard, but someone who had that many turnover and terrible shots at the Big Ten level, its scary how many he might have at the NBA level. I hope the knicks draft bayless, need a point guard. Gordon is an undersized shooting guard in the NBA, and not enough of a ball-handler to play the point…

  • TomCoverdaleIUHero

    Dare I say a fellow who is a pretty good finisher around the rim named…..hmmm……AMARE STOUDEMIRE cmon man he is unreal

  • MKH

    I think Taco is referring to a slashing guard that can attack the rim when he speaks of a “finisher”. As a Suns fan for many years, I pretty much agree that they've lacked that.

  • MKH

    How many of those turnovers were traveling violations that the NBA refs won't call? Regardless, even if you address his handle as a problem (and I really don't think it'll be much of an issue), it's an easily amenable one. You're crazy if you think Bayless is as much of a talent as Gordon.

  • deedubbadoo

    Those turnovers could also be attributed to what some have claimed as a broken bone is his hand. It is pretty easy to force a turnover when a guy can only dribble to his right.

  • It was an honor watching this kid play this year. I thank him for choosing IU over any other school in the country. I hope our future instate recruits see that you can lead the big ten in scoring and be a top 5 pick and do it all right here in Indiana at Indiana. Thanks Eric I wish you the best of luck.

  • hoosierbeat

    Not just the turnover and traveling violations, how about bad passes, bad shots, etc…i believe the nba game still puts a premium on not turning the ball over, as a knicks fan I would much prefer bayless….

  • hoosierbeat

    I would attribute the turnover to trying to hard, more so that an excuse for a broken hand…I haven't heard that he broke his hand at all….Don't be such an apologist, EJ is a great talent and may become a great nba player, but he was a disappointment last season, and made me want to tear my hair out….Donnie Walsh get Bayless

  • MKH

    I echo that, Ben.

  • MKH

    Many of those passes were NBA level passes that players simply weren't ready to receive. I honestly wonder if we watched the same player last year.

  • hoosierbeat

    Me too, you sound like an eric gordon (IU) apologist, who was watching with blinders on, and not being honest….

  • deedubbadoo

    I am not an apologist but how can a kid that won Big-10 freshman of the year honors not to mention lead the Big-10 in scoring as a freshman and was in the top 20 overall in PPG, be a disappointment? Is it because he didn't score 50 a game and take us to the final four? Thank Kelvin Sampson for that!

    Oh and here is a quote from the Indy Star about his hand:

    We now learn that since the week of practice prior to the Jan. 31 game at Wisconsin, Gordon had been playing with a broken bone in that left wrist. It was kind of an 'Oh by the way' comment from Gordon's father in a story by Jeff Rabjohns within the last few days.

    Here is a link to the article: http://blogs.indystar.com/hoosiersinsider/archi

    Not in any way an apologist but for someone to say that kid was a disappoint is ludicrous. Good luck with Bayless!

  • hoostheman

    I disagree. In terms of talent these two are extremely comparable. EJ has an elite NBA frame, and the edge in raw athleticism, but Bayless has a much better handle, sees the floor well and makes better decisions with the ball in his hands… Skills that obviously make him more versatile as he can split time between the 1 and 2. His jumpshot and range are also on-par with Gordon. Additionally, Bayless displayed greater ability to really take over a game than EJ ever did. Don't get me wrong, I love EJ and think he's going to have a great career… I just think you're selling Bayless short if you don't think they're at least close.

  • MKH

    “EJ has an elite NBA frame, and the edge in raw athleticism, but Bayless has a much better handle, sees the floor well and makes better decisions with the ball in his hands…”
    I agree with this, though I'm going to continue to insist that EJ's handle issues are not that big a deal.
    “His jumpshot and range are also on-par with Gordon. Additionally, Bayless displayed greater ability to really take over a game than EJ ever did.” I disagree with this. I think EJ's range and shooting is an edge, and Gordon's also better going to the rim (and converting on free throws) Gordon's always going to be a scorer – I don't think a point guard conversion is really in his best interest long term. But he's a better scorer than Bayless, comfortably, I think. Then again, it could be my Sun Devil bias showing, I guess.

  • B_MD

    And he was also facing defenses that weren't worried about Ellis or Stemler/other PF, making it much more difficult to operate.

    In the NBA he'll be playing one-on-one a lot more and be playing with much better talent around him, even on the Knicks.

    Yes, he has a lot of improving to do on his handle and decision making, but that can be fixed.

  • B_MD

    Big Ten Fresheman of the Year…First Team All Big-Ten.

    I wish I could disappoint that well!!

    This is a big time player who was on an overrated team playing for a coach that destroyed the season.

  • B_MD

    Well put.

  • MKH

    What I meant to convey is that I thought it absurd to take Bayless over Gordon, and I do – I think Gordon has perennial All-Star type potential. To the extent I implied that I think Bayless isn't a very good player, I retract the above.

  • flahoosier

    He doesn't have the speed to play for D'Antoni, his game is much more like Paul Pierce without the handle and size. A bruising methodical player who can shoot and drives slow to the basket, using muscle instead of speed. Its really going to depend on if he learns how to dribble.

  • ricbraun

    as a cavs fan, please no talks about lebron leaving. it makes me cry

  • JerryCT

    I too appreciated EJ at IU . HOWEVER I hate to pour some cold water on the EJ lovefest by sharing some facts BUT……….

    HOOSIERBEAT is absolutely correct. Bayless season stats far surpass Gordon , AND he at times scored 30+ with high assists at the same time …….==> TAKING OVER GAMES

    I think both guys will be good in the NBA but if you need a PG with some scoring pop the facts are clearly with Bayless………….sorry

  • I'll be pulling for Eric no matter where he goes but I think Memphis could use him. Although its mostly just me wanting to see him on my hometown team I also think EJ, Conley, and Gay are a solid start torwards a winning team. Adding some big bodies who play defense and rebound with their second first round pick and their second round pick could be perfect with the scoring power Gay and Gordon could have.

  • 2010 Knicks starting 5:
    PG Chris Paul
    SG Eric Gordon
    SF LeBron James
    PF David Lee
    C Hasheem Thabeet

    hey, i can dream right?

  • which is more NBA ready?
    6'4, 220
    6'3, 182

    throw the stats out the window. i think GMs will be more likely to look at Gordon's vastly superior measurements than Bayless' slight edge in assists per game (4 to 2.4).

    and as a side note, the Knicks are going to end up trading down and getting DJ Augustin. they need a true point. that roster is filled with combo-guards: Jamal Crawford, Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson, etc. getting Gordon or even Bayless (who is a combo-guard himself, just more inclined to be a point than Gordon) only adds to the log-jam.

  • MikeinNC

    Is he really up to 220 now? I thought he was listed at 205…not that listed heights/weights ever mean much…I think we had Deandre Thomas listed at…ahem…295 lbs….

  • hahaha. based on DeAndre's listed weight, maybe Gordon is actually closer to 250…

  • MikeinNC

    Is he really up to 220 now? I thought he was listed at 205…not that listed heights/weights ever mean much…I think we had Deandre Thomas listed at…ahem…295 lbs….

  • hahaha. based on DeAndre's listed weight, maybe Gordon is actually closer to 250…