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Can Aaron Gordon Become the Magic’s Version of Paul George?

Aaron Gordon is a talented athlete, but can the young dunk contest runner-up start and efficiently produce at small forward for the Orlando Magic? An even bigger question needs to be asked: can he duplicate the versatility that allows Paul George to soar on the wing for the Indiana Pacers?

Magic—and ex-Pacers—head coach Frank Vogel are banking on Gordon become more than just a dunking machine. Gordon was told by Vogel he would like to use him as he did George when he was the coach of the Pacers, but Gordon’s most natural position in this new NBA might be at power forward.

Gordon for his part, told the Orlando Sentinel that he’s “embracing” the comparison and will look to produce similar numbers for the Magic.

“It’s definitely a compliment,” Gordon said.

“I’m going to be myself and I’m going to play my game, and that’s ultimately going to be the most beneficial for us if I play how I play, not try to play like anybody else. I love the idea of being more of a playmaker and taking on a bigger scoring role. That’s something that I’m going to have to do for us to be successful and I’m ready for that.”

It’s a more demanding role for Gordon, where he’ll be asked to score, facilitate, lock-down more talented wings, all while improving on hitting 27.1 percent of his 3-pointers as a rookie and just 29.6 percent of his attempts last season.

-- Glenn Erby

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