The New Orleans Pelicans look like they will have at least one of the top three guard prospects available when they are on the clock with the sixth pick. Who? Unlike last week things are becoming more muddy, not less. Surveying four prominent NBA mock drafts finds an even split between long time Pelican fan favorites Buddy Hield and Kris Dunn. Both prospects are highly touted but bring completely different skill sets to the NBA.
Hield, as you can see in Joseph Billiot's prospect profile, is a pure shooting guard. The hope is he can continue to develop his handle and become a better distributor attacking close outs but initially his primary ticket to the league is a sweet stroke dangerous to 30 feet and beyond. The physical tools to be a solid defensive player are there; 6'5" in shoes and a 6'9.25" wingspan is perfectly average for an NBA shooting guard. With a lesser offensive role will he provide more than he showed at Oklahoma on defense? It's not an unreasonable expectation.
Dunn is a point guard in the body of a shooting guard. Owen Sanborn's prospect profile focuses on Dunn's elite athleticism, which certainly increases the perceived ceiling Dunn might reach in the NBA. Absolutely massive for an NBA point guard standing 6'4.25" with a 6'9.5" wingspan, a back court of Dunn and Jrue Holiday projects as a defensive menace perfect for the modern NBA. Can Dunn continue to improve his shooting stroke? Will the wide open NBA help Dunn's turnover problems at Providence?
|Draft Express - Givony (6/7)||CBS Sports - Vecenie (6/7)||CBS Sports - Parrish (6/9)||USA Today - Bodner (6/9)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Ben Simmons||Ben Simmons||Ben Simmons||Ben Simmons|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Brandon Ingram||Brandon Ingram||Brandon Ingram||Brandon Ingram|
|Boston Celtics||Marquese Chriss||Jaylen Brown||Jamal Murray||Dragan Bender|
|Phoenix Suns||Dragan Bender||Dragan Bender||Dragan Bender||Jaylen Brown|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Kris Dunn||Kris Dunn||Buddy Hield||Jamal Murray|
|New Orleans Pelicans||Buddy Hield||Buddy Hield||Kris Dunn||Kris Dunn|
|Denver Nuggets||Jaylen Brown||Marquese Chriss||Jaylen Brown||Buddy Hield|
|Sacramento Kings||Jamal Murray||Jamal Murray||Marquese Chriss||Marquese Chriss|
|Toronto Raptors||Jakob Poeltl||Jakob Poeltl||Henry Ellenson||Deyonta Davis|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Henry Ellenson||Deyonta Davis||Jakob Poeltl||Jakob Poeltl|
|Orlando Magic||Skal Labissiere||Skal Labissiere||Skal Labissiere||Skal Labissiere|
|Utah Jazz||Wade Baldwin||Henry Ellenson||Timothe Luwawu||Wade Baldwin|
|Phoenix Suns||Deyonta Davis||Furkan Korkmaz||Deyonta Davis||Henry Ellenson|
|Chicago Bulls||Demetrius Jackson||Wade Baldwin||Domantas Sabonis||Timothe Luwawu|
The Minnesota Timberwolves may be the key to how the Pelicans go in this draft. Does Tom Thibodeau think Dunn can play alongside Ricky Rubio? If so it is unlikely Dell Demps faces much of a dilemma at all. However, if the draft breaks down like Givony and Vecenie predict a far different equation must be measured. Buddy Hield or the far younger Jamal Murray. Yeah, we've talked about that decision in depth already here at The Bird Writes.