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.
- 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 Sports||B+||“The best movement shooter in this year’s NBA Draft…”|
|Yahoo! Sports||A||“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 Post||B-||“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 Report||A-||“He’s an instant-impact contributor with plenty of room to grow. Great pick.”|
|The Sporting News||A||“He needs little-to-no time to get his shot off, unphased by closing out defenders.”|
|SB Nation||C||“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 Win||B+||“The Pelicans needed shooting. They got it. Simple.”|
|Landers Nolley II||G||6-7||220||16.8||44.7||41.7||5.8||2.6||1.0||0.5|
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?
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