Gordon, Johnson plot their own pre-draft courses

2014-05-18T00:00:00Z Gordon, Johnson plot their own pre-draft coursesBy Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

CHICAGO – If you’re Aaron Gordon, preparation sometimes takes on a different meaning in the predraft process.

Like, figuring out what to wear. Gordon said he’ll attend the NBA’s lottery draw in New York on Tuesday, where he will effectively get a practice run on how to look at the June 26 NBA draft.

“I’ll probably be on TV a bit and I get to get a flashy suit on,” Gordon said of this week’s event, but said he hasn’t picked an outfit.

“Not yet, but I think I know what color I want.”

Nick Johnson has other worries. He has to stay in Chicago for a workout with the Bulls on Monday, the first of many likely appointments he will make in an effort to convince somebody he’s first-round material.

That’s just one of many ways the former Arizona Wildcats teammates took off on different paths after the NBA combine ended this weekend, officially kicking off the predraft process.

Consider:

  • Their schedules.
  • As an expected lottery pick, Gordon says he will only work out for five or six teams, plus a workout in Los Angeles that is hosted by his agency, BDA Sports, that is open to all NBA teams.

Johnson says he will work out for Orlando next week and expects to have many more leading up to draft night, maybe two or three times as many workouts as Gordon.

“A lot of teams have wanted me to come in to the workouts,” Johnson said. “It’s really just what me and my agent decide we want to do and who we want to work out for.”

  • Their home bases.
  • After working out in Los Angeles next week, Gordon said he’ll return to Santa Barbara, California, where he has been training at the P3 facility.

Johnson plans to return between workouts to Oakland, where he spent a month preparing for the combine after leaving UA in April.

“It was rough,” Johnson said. “I worked out three times Monday, Wednesday, Friday and four times Tuesday and Thursday. I’ll shoot in the morning, mix in with conditioning, and lift, then come back that night and shoot. On Tuesday or Thursday, I’m on the beach or in the hills working out.”

  • What they’re trying to prove.
  • Gordon played both power forward and small forward at UA, ultimately proving most effective inside, but says he has told teams that he’s just “a forward” when he’s often asked what position he expects to play.

He’ll try to display that versatility — and also show that he can shoot better than he did at Arizona — in his few private workouts.

“I think I’ll show them I’m much more complete than I was in college,” Gordon said. “I think my game is ready to expand.”

Johnson may face an even steeper challenge in defining who he is. Johnson declared at the combine that “I’m a point guard,” but, without having much experience at that position, he also described himself as a defensive-minded combo guard who is transitioning to a point guard.

He’ll be aiming to show the potential to make that adjustment.

“What I can do right away is come in and defend while I’m making my transition playing point guard or combo guard or whatever,” Johnson said.

  • The end result.
  • Gordon figures to slide in somewhere between the 6th and 11th picks, according to draft projections, while Johnson is all over the boards.

“I’ve heard a lot of things,” Johnson said. “Late first round. Mid second round. Early second round.”

For Gordon, the range isn’t nearly as wide. Somewhere between 6-11 in the first round, maybe depending on how his workouts go …. or maybe depending on what happens during that night out on Tuesday.

“A lot of it has to do with the one-on-one workouts,” Gordon said. “And a lot is going to have to do with how the pingpong balls drop in New York. Once the pingpong balls drop, a lot more will be discovered.”

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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