Kevin Pelton and Chad Ford released another NBA mock draft this morning and the results should make fans cringe. We've followed several ESPN scenarios in which the Pelicans move up or stay in the sixth position, but this time they tumbled down into 7th, as the Sacramento Kings received a favorable lottery bounce.
By the time New Orleans selection arrived, Kris Dunn, Jamal Murray and Buddy Hield were all off the board. As was the somewhat unknown Dragon Bender. The consolation prize? Henry Ellenson.
I'm sorry, I don't agree with this rationale, let alone the analysis. Pelton aptly went on to mention the subpar perimeter shot percentage, but still finished his thoughts more positively than I would have preferred.
Well, let's have a look at the freshman seasons for both Ellenson and Anderson per Sports Reference/College Basketball.
Ellenson proved no where near as efficient as Anderson, and most certainly, his outside proficiency was borderline laughable. Since the 2001 season, 25 freshmen forwards have averaged over 15 points per game with 3 or more three-point attempts. Ranking the group by 3FG%, Anderson sits 7th on the list while Ellenson lags well behind in 24th.
Ford's comparison of the two players obviously relies on a lot of positive projections. That's placing a lot of trust in a mechanically sound looking jumper becoming a potent weapon in the NBA one day.
Chances are Ellenson should morph into a viable shooting big, but for now most of his value lies in his propensity to get to the foul line. Considering the state of the current roster and his best position of power forward, Anthony Davis' preferred domain, his selection by the New Orleans Pelicans would fail to address the team's other more pressing needs. Further, his shot and defense could require lots of developmental time, a path the team has avoided for years.
Don't do it, Dell. (But knowing your tendencies, I'm not overly worried.)