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2021 NBA Draft: New Orleans Pelicans select Trey Murphy III with 17th pick

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Pelicans sorely need perimeter shooting. They landed one of the best from this draft!

2021 NBA Draft Combine Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

With the 17th pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, David Griffin and the New Orleans Pelicans selected Trey Murphy III, a 6’9 wing from the University of Virginia.

The Pelicans originally had possession of the 10th overall pick, but following a trade agreement made three days ago with the Grizzlies that is expected to officially add Jonas Valanciunas to New Orleans’ roster soon, one of the costs was dropping back to the 17th selection, with Memphis receiving that 10th pick.

Murphy is best known for his floor spacing ability, knocking down 43.3% of his 120 3-point attempts at Virginia last season. He wrapped up a three-year collegiate career (first two years were spent at Rice University) with a stellar 40.1 3PT%.

The Pelicans, who finished in the 26th in the league in team 3-point percentage (34.8%) and 25th in 3-point attempts, needed to shore up their perimeter shooting this offseason. Murphy represents a very good first step.

However, Murphy is much more than just a perimeter shooter as he should in time prove to be a plus defender in the league. Per Sam Vecenie’s Top 100 Draft Guide:

I’m a believer in Murphy. He’s an elite shooter who is a good bet to shoot 40 percent from 3 and be a plus defender. It’s a very similar size and skill set combination to Trevor Ariza, who made nine figures in his career and has played over 1,200 games. Murphys is much more of a pure shooter and is going to be absolutely lethal spotting up from the corners. The impact that Cameron Johnson has made early in his career for Phoenix is a good barometer for how the early portion of Murphy’s career could go, except again, Murphy is a better athlete and better defender than Johnson was coming in.

Stay tuned, we’ll have more analysis of Murphy in coming days.

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