Who is your favorite (non-Brandon Ingram/Ben Simmons) prospect for the Pelicans and why?
Isaac Constans: So I like the idea of selecting a big guy if you can't get an elite outside player, right? Well, there's an exception. His name is Jaylen Brown. At 6'7 with a 7'0 wingspan, you could not ask for a more tantalizing NBA body-type. Brown will not take any time to adjust to the contact or pace of the association, and he's got a whatever-is-needed mentality. Brown would fit into any lineup, can slot in comfortably at two positions, and is revved up for a run-and-gun. Brown reminds me of Stanley Johnson, trained to create his own chances offensively. In the NBA, he'd be an immediate contributor with effort, tenacity, and electrifying plays on either side of the court while having the potential to develop into an elite player. Not a bad scouting report for someone who could slide down to eight depending on the lottery's caprice.
David Fisher: Denzel Valentine is very high (6th) on my board for the Pelicans. He's my favorite prospect because of his versatility and that the Pelicans could conceivably trade back and get Valentine and another draft pick or player. Valentine is, in my opinion, the "best" pick for New Orleans (non-top two edition) because of the expected value he and another pick should provide over other prospects. This franchise needs more than one rookie in this draft, even if the draft is not quite as good as Pelican fans would prefer. Trading back and getting Valentine and another player begins to stock a barren cupboard. Ideally Valentine and player X grow into role players (at worst) for the Pelicans a couple seasons from now at a significant discount.
Quentin Haynes: Timothe Luwawu. He’s probably my favorite player in the draft and I think we need to talk about him more: A 6-foot-7 guard with a wingspan near seven feet, can shoot the ball, displays good athleticism and is quietly a good ball handler and initiator on offense. Defensively, he has to figure it out off the ball, but most prospects do. He’s someone who could be a really good player in the right system. If the Pelicans remain at 6, he’s my favorite player there because of his ability to become a potential all-star, as well as New Orleans’ need at the wing.
Zachary Junda: There's something about Jaylen Brown that I'm absolutely enamored with. I like his length and his long arms. I like that he's comfortable with the ball in transition and can generate contact thus leading to free throw attempts. He can score either facing the basket or with his back to it and he has the potential to be a pretty good defender. I think he and Simmons have a lot of similarities, especially in what their critisicms are i.e. shooting. He doesn't have the passing ability, then again who else in this class does, but I think he could be a poor man's Simmons and could fill New Orleans' need for a 3-and-D wing.
Oleh Kosel: Buddy Hield. Interestingly, he was not even in my top 3 a little over two months ago as I favored Murray, Dunn and Luwawu following the duo of Simmons/Ingram. However, a lot has changed since then -- mainly I've had time to look at lots and lots of video to see the error in my ways. In my opinion, Hield checks the most boxes for the Pelicans. He can provide scoring outbursts, deft shooting, necessary leadership and numerous other intangibles, all at a position of need.
Fernando Ritzman: My guy is Jamal Murray. Like I said previously, Gentry's system requires shooters so the Pelicans should find one in the draft. With Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson possibly leaving and the rest of the league always hunting for good floor spacers, the former Wildcat could step right in and be one of the better long distance performers as soon as next season.
Owen Sanborn: Malik Beasley. This man can play some hoop. He is young and still has plenty of room for growth, but boy do his skills really jump out when you watch his tape. He combines scorers instincts with an unselfish demeanor and smooth as silk shooting stroke. He reminds me of a lesser shooting, more athletic Devin Booker. I think whatever team gets lucky enough to snag him towards the later part of the first round is going to be thanking the basketball Gods. You can never have enough versatile guards that can do a little bit of everything in today's game.