Pelicans Select UConn Sharpshooter Jordan Hawkins in 2023 NBA Draft

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Jordan Hawkins, a 6’4 combo guard, with the 14th pick of the 2023 NBA draft, and he could make an immediate impact.

Hawkins, who averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his sophomore season at the University of Connecticut, is best regarded for his deep perimeter shooting. He made 2.9 threes on 7.6 attempts from 3-point range, good for a 38.8 shooting percentage.

The Pelicans attempted the second-fewest (30.1) and made the eighth-fewest (11.0) 3-pointers in the league during the 2022-23 regular season. Trey Murphy III, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum were largely considered the team’s only real threats following the trade of Devonte’ Graham to the San Antonio Spurs midseason.

Hawkins shined throughout the NCAA tournament, helping UConn to the 2023 National Championship. He earned first team honors by averaging 16.3 points on 50% 3-point shooting.

Many draft experts labeled Hawkins and Gradey Dick, the 13th pick selection by the Toronto Raptors, as the top two shooters in the field, including The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie.

Hawkins has a very real case as the best shooter in the 2023 NBA Draft. His jumper is entirely projectable to the next level, not only in terms of making spot-ups but also creating shots from 3 at volume with his off-ball movement. These players who can do this are worth their weight in gold. He’s going to make life for stars around him easier.

Vecenie also noted that Hawkins possesses defensive and shot creation upside. His real weakness is a wiry frame that needs to add good weight; however, he does have good quickness and possesses the athleticism of an NBA athlete.

“I think Jordan still has an unbelievable upside even beyond who he is right now. I think he is one of the best movement shooters,” UConn head coach Dan Hurley said. “This guy can do it at full speed at a level that you haven’t seen in college. He also has a lot of two-way potential because he is athletic and he is long.”

The Pelicans desperately needed to improve their outside shooting this offseason and it appears they’ve taken a good first step by selecting a known commodity in Jordan Hawkins.

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunesSpotifyStitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.


7 thoughts on “Pelicans Select UConn Sharpshooter Jordan Hawkins in 2023 NBA Draft

  1. First, glad to see ya Oleh. Second, glad we got a shooter and one of the best off ball shooters if not the best in the draft. He is gonna surprise a lot of people if he gets a good amount of playing time

  2. I think it is a solid pick and fills a need for the Pels. Now we need to get a rim protector via trade or FA.

  3. Press conference with Trajan and Griff after was interesting. They said they had two off-season priorities (plus health).
    Shooting and rim protection.

    This addresses the first. Look out for more moves to address the second. (move Billy?)

  4. Welcome back Oleh. You and DM make a great 1-2 punch. This guy’s quick release and ability to catch and let it fly reminds me of none other than JJ Redick, although Hawkins has way more upside on the defensive side of the court, and a better ability to finish at the rim. But guys like Curry and Thompson have shown the value of guys who can run around screens and launch. Once you got past the top 3, the three best picks for the Pels were Lively, Jarace Walker and Hawkins. Very happy we got one of them.

Leave a Reply