Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon could be the next Indiana Pacers star Paul George under the wing of new head coach Frank Vogel. Gordon, who was involved in rumors of being traded by the Magic earlier in the offseason, now appears to be the long-term answer at the small forward spot in Orlando.
“It’s definitely a compliment,” Gordon said to the Orlando Sentinel when asked about Vogel’s decision to put him at the small forward spot full time.
“I’m going to be myself and I’m going to play my game, and that’s ultimately going to be the most beneficial for us if I play how I play, not try and play like anybody else. I love the idea of being more of a playmaker and taking on a bigger scoring role. That’s something that I’m going to have to do for us to be successful and I’m ready for that.”
George turned into an NBA superstar under Vogel with the Pacers. Since being drafted the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, George has made the NBA All-Star team three times (2013, 2014 and 2016).
Gordon was the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft but has been limited with his role with the young Magic. Gordon, who is known for his athleticism and dunks, has averaged 7.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his first two years in the league.
With Vogel as coach, the Magic are expected to become more competitive in the 2016-2017 NBA Season. With free agency and trade acquisitions like Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo, the team has improved their depth and allows the team to move Gordon to the SF position, which could be his more natural spot.
Other key Magic players are Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic. If Gordon and other players develop, the team could be a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
However, Gordon does not have the shooting range like George but he can potentially be a similar scorer from the SF spot, who will handle the ball and run the team.
Can Aaron Gordon lead the Magic like Paul George led the Pacers to success?
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons