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Boston Celtics 2014: Aaron Gordon ‘locked in’ as sixth pick

Aaron Gordon #11 of the Arizona Wildcats goes up for a shot in front of Bronson Koenig #24 of the Wisconsin Badgers in the second half during the West Regional Final of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Honda Center on March 29, 2014 in Ana
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

If the Boston Celtics actually keep the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Arizona forward Aaron Gordon appears to be their man. According to Chris Mannix’s latest SI.com Mock Draft on Wednesday, several sources believe Celtics GM Danny Ainge is sold on Gordon despite his shooting inconsistencies.

The Celtics have been rumored as a potential trading partner with the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star power forward Kevin Love. Many believe the sixth overall pick would be included in that deal, but if a blockbuster deal isn’t made, Ainge and the Celtics will be looking for the player who can help the team the most through the draft.

Gordon will provide strong rebounding which the team desperately needs. He is also a shot blocker who can defend either small forward or power forward. He wouldn’t be considered the most polished player to select that high in the draft, but Ainge seems to be enamored with his pure athleticism and his potential as one of the younger players in a draft class Ainge has determined is not that great.

Aaron Gordon is drawing comparisons to a young Shawn Marion type of player who could benefit in the open court with Rajon Rondo dishing the ball. At 6-foot-8 and 210 pounds, Gordon has the size of Jeff Green, which could cause a log jam at the forward position for the team, unless there is a big deal involving Green during or after the draft. Gordon averaged 12.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocks a game during his lone season with Arizona.

The young forward is also drawing some interest from the Utah Jazz, who pick fifth right ahead of the Celtics. The Jazz also has interest in Kentucky forward Julius Randle. The Celtics could also use a player like Randle if they indeed keep their pick and Gordon is off the board.