Can Aaron Gordon play the 3?

Aaron Gordon, a traditional power forward, will play some 3 in '13-14 to see more court time. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The skeptics believe Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon is far more suited to playing power forward than small forward, whether in college or the NBA. They question his perimeter shot and whether he can fit in on an Arizona front line that features power forward Brandon Ashley and 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski.

Gordon knows what they say, and he scoffs. He’s got confidence and will prove them wrong this season at Arizona. Then he’ll get the final laugh at the naysayers who said he couldn’t do it.

OK, I admit I am one of the skeptics.

There is no bigger fan of Gordon’s game than me. In fact, there might have been no one more impressive than Gordon in July 2012 when he was absolutely dominant in his return from injury.

But I’m still a believer than Gordon is more Blake Griffin than Paul George.

“I can play the 3,” Gordon told me. “I know for a fact I can play the 3. I’m developing my shot every day and people will be surprised how well I can shoot it.”

“I have a lot more to my game,” he added. “If I am fortunate enough to make the next level, I want to play the 3.”

For the 6-foot-9, 228-pound Gordon, that was a huge selling point as to why he wound up in Tucson. He has been told he’ll spend the majority of time at small forward, but isn’t against also sliding to power forward.