The wait is finally over! With the 6th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Dell Demps and the New Orleans Pelicans selected (fan favorite) Buddy Hield, a senior shooting guard out of Oklahoma. Dell did it guys. He really did it. He finally drafted another "young" prospect to pair along side Anthony Davis!
Cliff notes: Buddy "Buckets" Hield
His senior season, Buddy Hield averaged 25 points, 5.7 boards, and 2 assists per a game. Buddy Hield earned the nickname "Buddy Buckets" due to his incredible offensive production while at Oklahoma. Despite a 31.1% usage rating, Hield managed to put up a 122 offensive rating and a 28.2 PER.
Beyond just the sheer production, Hield is most known for his prowess from behind the three-point line. He nailed 46% of his three-point attempts his senior season, and many are confident Hield's shooting will translate well -- he's already shown he is capable of hitting the three ball from NBA range.
Jamal Murray hit 79 of 100 3’s in Boston last week. Buddy Hield hit 85 of 100 in Boston today. Whaaat?— NBA Stats (@StatisticsNBA) June 13, 2016
Physically, Hield is an average-sized shooting guard, standing at 6' 5" with a 6' 9.25" wingspan and weighing 212 pounds. Though Hield isn't the most gifted in terms of physical size, he is considered to be fairly athletic compared to his peers, which should help him sustain a career in the NBA.
Most importantly to New Orleans, Hield has an immaculate injury history. His best ability might be his availability for the Pelicans current roster.
Hield does possess two fundamental weaknesses in his game: he was not a great defender on the collegiate level and turned the ball over at a high rate without being considered a playmaker. As it happens, NBA coaches hate players who can't defend and turn the ball over too much, so this could be an issue moving forward.
Beyond pure basketball skills, Buddy Hield will bring much needed leadership to the New Orleans Pelicans. He has the attitude where he lets' his "game speak for itself," but in the locker room, and off the record, he pushes every one of his teammates to be better.
That type of desire to win is what the Pelicans desperately need. So in his own way, I think Hield could save this franchise by pushing Davis and his other teammates to be better.
The first chance to see Buddy Hield in action will be at the Las Vegas Summer League. New Orleans and Hield will suit up against second overall pick Brandon Ingram and the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, July 8th at 9:30 PM central. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Stay tuned for more analysis and grades in the days to come. For now, be sure to re-read my entire scouting report on Buddy Hield from early last month because it's more pertinent than ever!