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2022 NBA Draft: New Orleans Pelicans select EJ Liddell with 41st pick

A prospect featuring good shot-blocking skils with 3-point potential

2022 NBA Draft Combine Circuit Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

With the 41st pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Pelicans selected E.J. Liddell from the Ohio State University.

In his junior collegiate season, Liddell posted a well-rounded line of 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He also blocked 2.59 shots per game, the 19th highest mark across the NCAA. Although he stands 6’7, he has a near 7-foot wingspan and is considered a good leaper with strong defensive instincts.

The most interesting aspect of his game is that he’s an efficient scorer around the rim and showed decent proficiency from deep, knocking down 37.4% of his 123 3-ball attempts. He improved every season from both 3-point range and the free throw line, suggesting that the improvement may be real despite not the smoothest of shooting forms.

Nearly every major mock draft predicted Liddell would get selected in the first round. For instance, Jonathan Givony had the 21-year-old slated for the Milwaukee Bucks at the 24th pick in the first round.

Liddell is a solid rim protector who can switch on the perimeter and improved his shooting significantly as a junior, giving him a high floor as a prospect. Liddell’s productivity and toughness make him a solid option at this stage of the draft.

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

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