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New Orleans Pelicans will select 8th in 2022 NBA Draft

They didn’t move up in today’s lottery, but plenty of good players will be available.

2021 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Pelicans will select eighth in the 2022 NBA Draft to be held next month at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Although New Orleans didn’t move up after today’s drawing of the NBA draft lottery, they also didn’t drop down. The Pelicans had 34.5% odds of staying put and that’s exactly how things unfolded, with the Orlando Magic grabbing the first overall pick.

There will be a number of good options available to New Orleans with the Lakers’ 2022 first-rounder, provided David Griffin holds onto the pick.

Some names likely to be remaining on the board: AJ Griffin, Johnny Davis, Jalen Duran, Jeremy Sochan, Dyson Daniels, Ochai Agbaji, Ousmane Dieng, Mark Williams, and my personal favorite, Bennedict Mathurin.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer on Mathurin’s scouting report:

His role was to spot up and shoot 3s during his freshman season and he drilled 41.8 percent of them. As a sophomore, he was asked to do a lot more but he still made 38.3 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples, which includes a large number on extremely high difficulty. He’s a dynamic weapon who can shoot off movement, or attack straight off the catch ...

He’s a daredevil passer who’s fun to watch. He’ll whip the ball to his rolling big or to an open 3-point shooter on the wing. If he’s playing with a talented playmaking big man, he has exciting potential in the two-man game at the wings and elbows. He can pull up for 3s over the top, or attack the paint to find kickout opportunities for teammates. He’s a baller.

Fans will love watching him run the break. He’s always ready to run ahead of the defense, eager to turn stops into points. He can drain 3s or throw down explosive dunks when he has space to launch.

With his athleticism and length, he has shown plenty of impressive flashes on defense. He can move his feet quickly from side to side, and with both long arms and a strong frame, he can withstand drives to the rim. There are NFL-cornerback vibes to his off-ball defense with the way he intercepts passes or strips driving attackers.

With the Pelicans finishing 27th in the league in three-point shooting, addressing that concern feels a priority and Bennedict Mathurin would fit the bill perfectly.

I’ll have more on him later as we’ll turn our attention to our rookie prospect previews over the next month!

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.