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Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Drew Gordon


  • Measurables: 6-foot-9, 245 pounds, senior F from New Mexico
  • Key Stats: 13.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks per game, 54 percent from the field
  • Projected: Early second round
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Why I’m intrigued by this guy

OK, first thing’s first … when Sports Illustrated did it’s exposé a few months back on the UCLA program, unveiling the shocking findings that — GASP! — sometimes college kids party and do drugs, Drew Gordon, a former UCLA player, was one of the athletes whose name appeared throughout that story. It was potentially ruinous to the reputation of a player who would be trying to convince NBA teams to draft him in a few months. But I don’t care about the story or any of the allegations all that much. Nothing in it would give me much pause if I were considering drafting Gordon. What I love is Gordon’s mature reaction to it. From the San Jose Mercury News:

Once people get a sense of my character and have a chance to see how I really act, they’ll realize that the impression of that article is not accurate,” he said.

Then Gordon laughed.

“But I’ll give them this: It sure was an entertaining read,” he added.

He left the team in December 2009 and quickly landed in New Mexico. It was in Albuquerque where Gordon began to understand how much of a hit his reputation had taken.

“When I first transferred, I had people tell me that they were expecting some thug from the Bay Area and that I was going to have this attitude,” he said. “But what I’ve learned the last few years is that it’s not worth getting all worked up over what people might think and just try to show them who you really are.”

He quickly became a fan favorite at the Pit, New Mexico’s raucous arena. Last season the power forward averaged 13.7 points and 11.1 rebounds and was named the Mountain West Conference tournament MVP. He led the Lobos to a 28-7 record and into the NCAA tournament’s second round.

“All I know is he’s been a great player, an incredible person and a great teammate for us,” New Mexico coach Steve Alford said earlier this year. ” … He’s done everything we asked him to do.”

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com talked to Gordon at the Draft Combine in Chicago and tweeted this:

Drew Gordon easily passes eye test, impressive kid.

Pros for the Pistons

If a talent like Gordon is still on the board when the Pistons pick early in the second round, he’ll be tough to pass up. He’s big, he’s a great finisher, he’s athletic, he runs the floor well, he rebounds well … all of those things sound like they’d be awfully useful in Detroit’s frontcourt. I’m particularly intrigued by his ability to move without the ball and finish. Greg Monroe worked really well with a big man who fit that description — Chris Wilcox — during his rookie season. Monroe would definitely find a player like Gordon moving to the basket on passes from the high post.

Cons for the Pistons

Gordon isn’t a stick figure or anything, but like all college big men, he’ll need to get stronger to be a reliable NBA rotation player. He’s also not the most polished post-up player, not that that matters much since Monroe will be the one getting the bulk of Detroit’s touches in post-up situations.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

  • Long athlete
  • Good hands
  • Explosive leaper, quick off the floor
  • Runs the floor well
  • Midrange jump shot
  • Solid rebounder
  • Shot-blocker
  • Plays well without the ball
  • No post game
  • Poor footwork
  • Lacks basketball IQ
  • Needs to add strength


Defensively, Gordon plays with intensity and offers some versatility thanks to his solid size and athleticism. Using his body better than he did last season to defend the post thanks to improved fundamentals, the California native is able to keep up with face-up fours in the midrange as well. Gordon is a physical defender who contests shots, gets a bit overaggressive at times and could stand to maximize his frame to help him fight his man for position on the block on the next level. His lateral quickness is good, but not great out on the perimeter, and he blocked shots at a respectable rate thanks to his length and motor. Gordon may not be a playmaker defensively, but his ability to hold his own at and away from the rim is a plus.

What is the best thing Drew Gordon does for his team?

Mundo Carillo is the sports editor for The Daily Lobo, New Mexico’s student newspaper:

Plain and simple, Drew Gordon is a strong inside presence.  In my opinion, his strongest attributes are his rebounding and his strength inside the post.  At the Division I level, he was pushing guys around like they were nothing.  He averaged 13 points and ten rebounds in his two years as a Lobo. Since he was so strong in the post, the only doubt I might have about him is his outside game, since he didn’t really showcase it here at New Mexico.  This might be a problem when he’s going up against taller and stronger players in the NBA and he’s not able to shoot from a safe distance.



  • Jun 8, 20129:09 pm
    by Mark


    If this guy is available in the second round the Pistons should pounce.  He can play.  Although given Dumars track record of finding second round talent, I’ll obviously give him the benefit of the doubt whatever he chooses to do.  In this draft, there will be talent available in the 2nd round.  

    I’ve posted this many time before during these draft profiles but I believe the Pistons are not your typical lottery team.  If it wasn’t for their awful 4-20 start, we wouldnt be picking where we are.  The Pistons played pretty good basketball the rest of the way, .500 basketball, which does say something given their most important players likely still have their best basketball ahead of them.  

    And that is the reason why they can afford to take a risk with their 1st pick.  I am sure Dumars will be tempted to take Zeller with the 9, however I think the Pistons can afford to take a guy with a potentially higher ceiling like Perry Jones and Meyers Leonard.  Patrick Hayes made great points regarding PJ3.  We forget that 2 yrs ago scouts questioned Monroe for the same reasons scouts are questioning Jones.  What is undeniable is the fact the Jones has elite physical qualities for a player his size.  The same can be said for Leonard and although he wont contribute right away, I would love to see Monroe have the opportunity to play his natural position next to a center that can be an impact player on defense.  Monroe does a lot of things well but defense is not one of them, at least right now.  

    This is a very important draft for us because I dont see us being in this position next year.  Dumars can make the “safe” pick for the solid rotation player and maybe we become the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that makes the playoffs but cant get out of the 1st round.  Being stuck in mediocrity is not something that I’m interested in.  There is nothing more frustrating.  Dumars should go for the HR and draft the player he thinks has the chance to be the best player in the longrun, even if it does take a couple years before we reap the benefits.

  • Jun 9, 20126:26 pm
    by tarsier


    Good news for the Pistons’ first pick. There is possibly a team ahead of them intending to take a reach:

    Dion Waiterswithdrew from the combine after the first day, a move that essentially confirms unusually candid statements from at least one opposing executive that the Syracuse shooting guard has received a draft promise and will be cancelling future workouts.It is not known which team (apparently) gave Waiters the completely unenforceable verbal agreement in exchange for the completely unenforceable verbal agreement to call off whatever showcases had been scheduled. But with Waiters bound for the lottery anyway and climbing the board as June 28 approaches, logic dictates it would be someone in the 5-to-10 range. He would be foolish to give up the chance to reach mid-lottery for a promise from a team in double digits.Raptors president Bryan Colangelo told the Toronto Star that “His agent has told me there’s a promise to another team,” which is more public candor than normal from an executive or agent on the topic. And as Colangelo noted as well, Toronto, or anyone could still take Waiters. Just as the team that gave Waiters the promise could conveniently forget the handshake arrangement on draft night if another player is unexpectedly available.”


  • Jun 10, 20123:57 am
    by Vince


    I agree, if he’s available at our pick in the second round the Pistons should snatch him. Take Perry in the first and sign Jason Thompson in FA…Amnesty Villanueva and if Singler returns next season we have a solid rotation. I think we should trade Prince and our second second round pick for a first round pick in next year’s draft to free up the roster. That would give the Pistons a nasty team, deffs capable of making the playoffs!

    C – Monroe
    PF – Thompson
    SF – Jerebko
    SG – Stuckey
    PG – Knight

    and the second unit

    C – Macklin
    PF – Gordon
    SF – Perry/Singler
    SG – Gordon
    PG – Bynum


    • Jun 10, 201210:50 am
      by Tom Y.


      Why don’t people get that there’s no reason to amnesty BG or CV if you’re not gonna used the cap space to sign someone? And amnestying CV won’t clear enough space to sign anyone anyway. I’m pretty sure even amnestying BG won’t be enough.

      • Jun 10, 20121:21 pm
        by tarsier


        What the exact numbers are, I don’t know. Clearly, from what Vince said, he was thinking that Detroit also gets rid of Prince somehow (because he didn’t appear in the lineup). And then, I think the idea was to amnesty CV to create enough space for Thompson. Or maybe Thompson came out of the MLE and Prince is still on the team, but CV is amnestied to avoid tax territory.

        But yeah, in general, don’t use the amnesty just for the heck of it. However, removing a guy could make more flexibility later in the year. But the amnesty can only be used during the summer. So it is possible that using it even without a specific plan could be advantageous.

        • Jun 11, 20124:20 am
          by Vince


          What I wanted to say:

          - Draft Perry Jones III and Drew Gordon
          - Trade Prince and our 2nd Second Round Pick for a First Round Pick next year
          - Amnesty Villanueva
          - Sign Thompson whilst not using the MLE
          - Sign Macklin to the minimum
          - Don’t sign Wilkins, Walker Jr.
          - I’m assuming Wallace retires and Maxiell activates his PO
          - If Maxiell doesn’t take his PO – Go after a big with the MLE regardless of whether Big Ben returns

          Well thats what I’d do… But if I could do anything I wanted I’d probs get rid of most of the bench…

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