clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buddy Hield to New Orleans in latest ESPN Mock Draft 7.0, but Pelicans also have interest in Kris Dunn and Dragan Bender

Wait, Buddy Hield claims Reggae music has helped his shooting touch and he's a sharp dresser too?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Following the conclusion of the NBA Lottery, ESPN's Chad Ford quickly released the newest version of his Mock Draft. Just as he had predicted in the 6.0 edition, the New Orleans Pelicans will select Buddy Hield, the sharp-shooting guard out of the University of Oklahoma.

Landing Hield would be a dream scenario for the Pelicans. Two-guard Eric Gordon is a free agent, and New Orleans really needs shooting, and they want to get better fast. Hield could come in and play right away.

During the televised coverage of the Lottery on ESPN, Heather Cox interviewed Hield, asking him topics ranging from what advice he has received from Kobe Bryant to how he's become such an effective long-range shooter.

Cox: Buddy, you've talked quite a bit about the inspiration that you've gotten from Kobe Bryant. In fact, Kobe came to watch you play in your Elite Eight NCAA Tournament game. What advice have you gotten from him that can help you in this next chapter?

Hield: Just stay mentally focused and just be yourself and just do what you do.

Cox: You decided to take another year and play at Oklahoma when you could have been probably a top pick in last year's draft. How do you think that extra year has helped prepare you for this?

Hield: It just helped me be a better player, a better person on and off the court and just helped me to better my game a lot. And my coaches have picked up on my weaknesses, so I used that to get better.

Cox: Some have said that you are the next Steph Curry in terms of your 3-point shot, which is high praise. So, OK, I won't say that, but where did that shooting touch come from?

Hield: Just working in the gym, a lot of reps, putting up tons of shots, a lot of mental drills, shooting, what, 1,500 shots, I don't know, just a lot of time in drills and getting myself locked in and listening to Reggae music.

The Bird Writes has written ad naseum about Hield, including how the Pelicans have been on track to draft his services for some time, so let's turn our attention to perhaps the more notable news from Ford's Insider Piece: the New Orleans front office is not only also interested in Kris Dunn but Dragan Bender as well.

Go ahead and re-read that international name again because I understand it probably seems like a misprint -- it simply represents too much of a sizable departure from prior decision-making! If true, this news exemplifies the existence of concrete evidence that Dell Demps would not be against drafting and keeping a project since the post-CP3 rebuild when the organization selected Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.

On Tuesday evening, Justin Verrier correctly reminded fans to the tendencies of the New Orleans Pelicans of trading away high draft picks in recent history. Maybe, just maybe, the front office is now showing a willingness to think more long-term and not sacrifice future assets in an all-out attempt to win now?