BayHawks vs. Ignite: 5 guys who might play for the New Orleans Pelicans

Jalen Adams #6 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jalen Adams #6 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans
Naji Marshall #13 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans: Naji Marshall could be a 3-and-D wing

Naji Marshall is the second of the Pelicans’ two-way players. He went undrafted in the 2020 draft after three seasons for the Xavier Musketeers but was picked up by New Orleans.

In his last season at Xavier, Marshall scored 17 points per game but disappointed with his outside shot. He still made his conference’s first team, though. Marshall is a career 29 percent three-point shooter, which is poor for a 6-foot-7 forward with NBA hopes.

Shooting the three is an ever-growing point of emphasis for NBA wings and it’s something that Marshall must iron out if he aspires to stick around in the association. Prior to the BayHawks’ game against the G League Ignite, Marshall had only made one of his five attempted threes.

Yet, he was still averaging a solid 16 points per game. Marshall does most of his damage in transition, where he leads the G League in fast break points per game. That makes me think he would have been a great fit for Alvin Gentry’s iteration of the Pelicans, which flew up and down the court.

With Stan Van Gundy, the New Orleans Pelicans operate at a much more restrained and deliberate pace. Marshall has only seen eight total minutes of game time for New Orleans—for all intents and purposes, nothing.

Marshall was arguably the BayHawks’ standout player in their game against the Ignite team. He was a menace in transition, constantly outrunning his opponents down the floor and putting pressure on the rim. He also actively looked for his own shot, making three of his six attempted triples and finishing with 21 points. You can tell that Marshall is not a timid offensive player.

The Xavier product also flashed some interesting signs on defense. He used his long arms to make things happen for the BayHawks, who gave Ignite their toughest test to date with a huge difference.