While on the surface I am personally excited about the potential of adding Aaron Gordon, I am a little bit afraid that he will become Antonio McDyess – and not in a good way.
The situations are significantly different in that the Phoenix Suns gave up a ton to acquire McDyess when he was an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 1998 season, while James Jones would not (with this trade) be giving up nearly as much, and Gordon has two years beyond this one left under contract giving him a chance to continue to develop his game in Monty Williams‘ offense while Jones continues to work to build a winner.
However, while McDyess and Gordon share similar high-flying tendencies (which are a lot of fun), by the time McDyess was 27, his knees all but ended his above-the-rim career, forcing him to continue on for 10 years as a meager role player.
Aaron Gordon is only 24-year-old at the moment (the prime of McDyess’ career), but has already had issues with both his left foot, left hip-flexer, and now his left achilles – obviously all necessary to be the hyper-athlete long-term that his currently is.
While the Phoenix Suns (I presume) would only make the trade after the passing of a physical and the guarantee or belief that the left side of his body issues are not going to cause him to lose the skills that have made him who he is too early, he has already had two seasons ended early due to such injuries.
If the Suns believed that Aaron Gordon’s body would hold out, then James Jones should make this trade without thinking twice.
The addition of Gordon would not only be a huge boost to the power forward position at the moment, but with his age and the back court talent on this roster that he would be planted into, there is no reason to believe that he couldn’t take significant steps forward in is game in the very near future.