2. Jordan Hawkins
With the value the franchise has on three-point shooting, there was plenty of speculation that the Warriors may have been targeting Jordan Hawkins in the lead up to the draft. A number of mock drafts had Golden State taking the sharpshooter with the 19th overall pick, but in the days prior it became evident he wasn’t going to be available that long.
The New Orleans Pelicans swooped with the 14th overall pick, adding much-needed shooting to a team that shot the second-least number of threes in the NBA last season. However, that’s not an assurance that Hawkins will have a defined rotation role with the franchise next season.
Hawkins’ situation mirrors that of Bufkin, the player taken directly after him. His production over five Summer League outings were solid — 12.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.1 minutes per game — but the shooting numbers failed to translate as he shot just 31.9% from the floor and 25% from three-point range.
After an incredibly strong start to last season, the Pelicans fell in a heap and failed to make the playoffs. With the hope of a healthy Zion Williamson back in the mix, they’ll be looking to bounceback in becoming a major threat in 2023-24.
That might mean limited opportunity for their younger players, including Hawkins. Of the younger core, they’ll look to continue to develop the exciting Trey Murphy III, while they also possess Dyson Daniels, the 8th overall pick from 2022.
The Pelicans’ need for shooting gives Hawkins more scope for opportunity compared to Bufkin at the Hawks, but even then he might only be a situational player more than anything during his rookie season.