Carrington Could Provide Offensive Boost For Pelicans Bench

The Pelicans’ lack of offensive firepower in the backcourt has been a recurring problem. They’ve tried solving this through the draft, though the picks of Kira Lewis, Dyson Daniels, and Jordan Hawkins still leave them offensively needy. Carlton ‘Bub’ Carrington could be the answer as one of the 2024 draft’s most dynamic offensive talents.

Carrington’s diverse scoring talent carries his prospect case. At 18 years old standing 6’4 without shoes, Carrington averaged 13.8 points per night, showcasing a variety of offensive skills. He’s an especially talented off-dribble shooter; Carrington shot 32.1% (43-134) on off-dribble threes and a blistering 50.9% (59-116) on off-dribble twos, winning with his excellent handle, pacing on drives and touch.

Though Carrington shot just 32.2% from three this season, he projects as a strong future shooter. The aforementioned pull-up skill is a positive indicator of shooting development, as well as his great volume (11 attempts per 100 possessions) and solid free throw percentage (78.5%). His shot diet will lighten at the next level, as the Pelicans wouldn’t require him to create a high volume of his shots. Playing off of other high-level scorers will make his life easier.

His on and off-ball shooting blend with an excellent handle and playmaking skill to form a strong complementary offensive package. He’s a comfortable pick-and-roll orchestrator, consistently hitting simple reads to his big men or skipping across the court to shooters. Carrington’s passing numbers — 24% assist rate, 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio — support the idea of him as an excellent playmaker.

To reach his offensive ceiling, Carrington must develop physically, as most teenage prospects do. He’s incredibly weak and struggles to find his way to the rim and score when he gets there (53.8%), losing to more physical defenders initiating contact. Those same limitations hamstring him on the defensive end, where Carrington struggles to create events (1 stl + blk per 40 minutes) and stronger drivers overwhelm him. 

He’s flashed solid lateral quickness and mobility on the ball, suggesting Carrington could develop into a solid defender, aided further by his 6’8 wingspan. Drafting Carrington would mark a future-focused pick, as Carrington likely won’t be a great player from the jump given his age and physical limitations. His ceiling is significant, though, if the Pelicans put in the effort to develop him.

Up to this point, the Pelicans don’t have a consistent solution outside of CJ McCollum to their backcourt scoring problems. Carrington’s easy projection as an on-ball creator and a role-playing piece off of other stars makes this an ideal fit if the Pelicans want to keep swinging on young, talented guards.

Analysis by Ben Pfeifer

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