NEW YORK — Aaron Gordon hit his NBA Draft ceiling tonight, going No. 4 overall to the Orlando Magic at the Barclays Center.
The pick was the highest Gordon had expected to be taken with, having worked out for all teams who held spots between four and eight. He had most frequently been speculated to go to Utah at No. 5 or Boston at No. 6 but knew things would change soon into the draft.
After Andrew Wiggins (Cleveland), Jabari Parker (Milwaukee) and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia) went in order in the top three, Gordon said he received notice from his agent about five minutes before the Magic went on the clock that they would take him at No. 4.
"I was" surprised, he said. "I worked out pretty well when I was in Orlando. I felt good about it... It just clicked, man, it really clicked."
Gordon crossed the Barclays Center stage wearing a cobalt-royal type of blue suit, with a medium blue tie. When it he was asked if that meant anything, considering that blue is a Magic color, Gordon smiled.
"It is close, but I really came in today having no idea," Gordon said. "The anxiety and the anticipation were all there. I just happened to like this color."
Still just 18, Gordon said he could also see himself fitting in with the Magic, who have up-and-coming players such as Tobias Harris, Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic.
"It makes it easy for me because Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris, they're both good pros already," Gordon said. "They're young and we can grow together. Very gritty, hard-working people. That's who I am. I couldn't be happier to be playing with them."
Gordon, who played just one season for the Wildcats, became the program’s 11th lottery pick in the NBA Draft and the second under UA coach Sean Miller, who also guided Derrick Williams to the No. 2 overall pick in 2011.
Gordon said before the draft he expected to be picked somewhere between four and eight, having worked out for all the teams holding picks in those slots. He said he hit if off particularly well with Celtics coach Brad Stevens, saying Stevens reminded him of Miller in intensity and concern for players. Gordon said he also liked the support that Utah fans give the Jazz.
Earlier in the draft, Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins went No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Milwaukee picked up Jabari Parker of Duke at No. 3 and Philadelphia chose Joel Embiid at No. 3. Follow the draft all night in the Star's live chat.
Read more on Bruce Pascoe's blog and in Friday's Arizona Daily Star.