The first wave of returns for NBA All-Star voting were released on Thursday. And nowhere to be seen was the name Aaron Gordon.
Despite having improved in every statistical category during what has been a breakthrough season, the 22-year-old did not rank among the top-ten for the Eastern Conference’s frontcourt. Gordon is currently averaging 18.8 points per game (an increase from 12.7 last season), 8.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.8 blocks and 19.33 PER, all of which are career-highs. He is also shooting personal-bests of 48.3 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three, after entering the season as a career 28.8 percent three-point shooter. Combined, he has a career-high 59.7 percent true shooting percentage.
Gordon, in his fourth season, has been praised by the national media for transforming his game and evolving from a high-flyer with limited range to a legitimate outside threat and well-rounded player. But still, he couldn’t muster the 58,000 or so votes needed to crack the top-ten list.
Among the more surprising players in the East frontcourt to have received more votes so far than Gordon are:
Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum: 14.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 16.86 PER
Knicks center Enes Kanter: 13.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 0.4 blocks, 23.85 PER
Hornets center Dwight Howard: 15.7 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 18.18 PER
There have been Twitter campaigns for Gordon:
AARON GORDON#NBAVote pic.twitter.com/6avnSPWabp— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 4, 2018
Averaging career highs in almost every major statistical category Aaron Gordon is averaging 18.9 points with a field goal % of 49.9% and a 3 Point % of 41.3%. He’s also averaging a career high 7.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 blocks & steals. RT if he should be an All-Star #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/O3bGtqnXqv— Be Magic Or Be Gone! (@BeORLMagic) December 31, 2017
RT to vote your FAVORITE Eastern Conference Power Forwards into the 2018 All-Star game! #NBAVote— #PaperMario World (@PaperMarioWorld) December 30, 2017
Dwario Sorric pic.twitter.com/190FC7oun9
But it hasn’t been enough to get Gordon into the top-ten, which one would think doesn’t exactly bode well for his chances of being selected by coaches as a reserve. Especially when another East forward with ties to the Magic, Tobias Harris, who is even more deserving of an All-Star spot than Gordon, also didn’t make the top ten....
The #NBAAllStar Voting First Returns for Eastern Conference players!— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 4, 2018
VOTE NOW: https://t.co/UjbrNUQ7Vw pic.twitter.com/ltlmLAo6S9
The main knock on Gordon, of course, is that his career-season has not translated into wins for the perpetually rebuilding Magic (outside of their 8-4 start, which now seems as if it were in another lifetime). Of the 40 vote-getters that are currently ranked in the top-ten for their respective conference and position, only five are on teams that, if the season ended today, would not qualify for the playoffs: Kristaps Porzingis, Enes Kanter, Dwight Howard, Lonzo Ball and Devin Booker.
The Magic having the third worst record in the league obviously doesn’t help Gordon’s cause in any way. But that factor usually comes into play more when the reserves are being selected. The fan voting is essentially a popularity contest, which makes it a little surprising that Gordon did not do at least somewhat better in the polls given the notoriety and marketability he gained since appearing in the dunk contest.
Is Gordon being snubbed by NBA fans? Do Magic fans even view Gordon as an All-Star?
Join the debate in the comment section below....