New Orleans Pelicans Receive Mostly High Marks In Post-Draft Grades

NEW ORLEANS – Surprising some, the New Orleans Pelicans decided to stand pat on draft night and select UConn’s Jordan Hawkins with the 14th pick.

Hawkins, a 6-5 combo guard, checks a lot of the boxes that Executive Vice President of Basketball Operation David Griffin has seemingly been looking for over his last few drafts.

  • Maturity
  • Experience
  • Ability to play both ends of the court

In his Sports Illustrated scouting report, Hawkins received high marks for his athleticism and his frame. Though he checks in at only 195 pounds, he’s has essentially the same physical measurements as another former UConn shooting guard; Ray Allen.

“Him being a shooter, just telling me get to my spots, the way to get to my spots, allowing my jump shot to open everything else up and get to the basket,” Hawkins told the Hartford Courant what he learned from Allen in a private conversation during his sophomore season. “Learning that from him, it was a blessing for sure.”

It’s no coincidence that Allen is Hawkins’ idol. From the day he arrived in Storrs, Conn., he was compared to Allen and “Rip” Hamilton, both of whom won a lot of games for the Huskies, became NBA All-Stars, and world champions.

“Guys like Ray Allen and Rip Hamilton come to mind when I watch him play, the way he moves,” said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton.

After a freshman season where he averaged only 5.8 points per game, Hawkins upped his output to 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists, while shooting 38.8% from three-point range.

He can fill an immediate need for the Pelicans with his shooting and his ability to create for himself.

David Griffin and Trajan Langdon, along with some of the Pelicans, have expressed their excitement over the addition of Hawkins, but how did the rest of the basketball world react?

Here are the grades from the media:

CBS SportsB+“The best movement shooter in this year’s NBA Draft…”
Yahoo! SportsA“He commands the attention of defenders every time he’s on offense with the way he moves off the ball. If he catches a defender sleeping, he’s letting it fly.”
New York PostB-“Hawkins is deadly when his feet are set, moves extremely well without the ball and can shoot on the move, although there are defensive and athleticism questions.”
Bleacher ReportA-“He’s an instant-impact contributor with plenty of room to grow. Great pick.”
The Sporting NewsA“He needs little-to-no time to get his shot off, unphased by closing out defenders.”
SB NationC“The problem with Hawkins is that he isn’t big enough to offer defensive versatility, he’s not a plus passer, and he doesn’t have much on-ball creation upside.”
For the WinB+“The Pelicans needed shooting. They got it. Simple.”

Following the draft the Pelicans signed free agents Tevian Jones, Landers Nolley II, and Liam Robbins. All three, along with Hawkins are expected to play for the franchise’s Summer League entry.

Tevian JonesG6-719717.840.736.
Landers Nolley IIG6-722016.844.741.
Liam RobbinsC7-025015.050.436.
2022-23 Stats for Pelicans UDFA Signees

Jones and Nolley are long, athletic, two-way players who both showed proficiency from distance, combining to convert 181 of their 465 (.389) three-point attempts last season.

Robbins was a big part of the turnaround season for the Vanderbilt Commodores, and led the Southeastern Conference in both total blocked shots (82) and blocks per game (3.2), while still shooting 36.5% from deep.

The Las Vegas Summer League is set for July 7 through 17 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavillion on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

What are your thoughts on the selection of Jordan Hawkins?


16 thoughts on “New Orleans Pelicans Receive Mostly High Marks In Post-Draft Grades

  1. I’m with it. Some Twitter conversation on how he will be Alec Burks or Malik Beasley. Possible, but if that’s his floor I’ll take it. Griff is going to catch some flack for the “safe pick” and not trading up Wallace, etc. But, picking at 14 and getting a player with an elite skill that can give us what we desperately need is a plus. B+.

    1. I agree. Ben Pfiefer talked a bit about Hawkins, and he has one elite skill right now. I’ll take that from a rookie, who if things go right, should only be getting reserve minutes where his job is to shoot. I’m also intrigued by a couple of the UDFA’s. Addressing shooting and getting a big that can protect the rim potentially were solid moves.

  2. I have commented in other threads that this was a smart pick. League value’s shooting, and we needed more shooters. I also feel like we had two picks this year, if EJ comes back strong. Finally, I am looking for a lot of growth out of DD this year.

    Big need is a rim protector.

    1. Oleh and I just wrapped a new episode of The Bird Calls and we discuss the pick. So look out.

      1. Great podcast guys. Agree with your takes on Zion and Jordan Hawkins.
        Any update on if EJ back to 100% yet? Pulling for the young man.

      2. Great podcast guys. Agree with your observations on Zion and Jordan Hawkins.
        Have you heard or seen how EJ is doing? Is he near 100% yet?

        1. We’ve only gotten the glimpses from social media, but he’s on schedule to play in summer league as far as we know.

  3. I like the pick a lot as even if it is a safe pick, having that elite skill creates a very unlikely bust. He also is a leaper just watching and toward the end of the season he did a better job of attacking the close out.
    I’m also excited about each of udfa. They each seem to bring something. They each did 5 years so age definitely played into their non-drafting

  4. Can anyone see this ? Not sure why I can’t see the post.
    Using an IPhone. I see other peeps posts but not mine. Don’t know what the secret is but oh well.

    1. We see all your posts SS. Just post knowing we see it
      Anxious to see summer league. Having a shooter like Hawkins fills a need. Be curious what route they take for rim protector-trade or FA

  5. Well, of course I love the pick since it was my pick before the draft. The PeliCANs don’t need a “savior”, as I heard a fan of another team unreasonably say of that team’s pick. The Pels need health, and after that, points and defensive support from the bench, of which they will get from Jordan – off the bench. He’s obviously not a starter when the Pels are healthy.
    The reason I think Jordan’s such a great addition to the team is because he’s got a winner’s pedigree. Except for the twins, none of the top 10 picks of this year’s draft won anything, not even the vaunted Victor Wembanyama, whose team got swept from contention in its bid for a championship.
    I wonder if Herb has improved his shooting enough to fight off EJ, who’s likely coming for his spot. EJ is moving well from what I see in videos he’s released. He and Dyson could be competing for the “first big off the bench” spot unless Naji stays in Willie’s good graces.
    Borrego could very well shake up the way we’ve seen substitutions on this team in a wonderfully positive way. I hope so.
    Who’s ready for summer league? I am…GEAUX PELS!
    (And GEAUX LSU TIGERS, bring the championship home with a sweep! 👍🏽)

  6. If healthy, what is their ceiling? As it stands, I don’t see the Pels in the top of the West yet…

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