Pelicans NBA Draft: Slimmed down Garza could be a steal in the 2nd round

Luka Garza #55 of the Iowa Hawkeyes(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Luka Garza #55 of the Iowa Hawkeyes(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans will have five picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, including four in the second round.

The Pelicans will have the 10th, 35th, 40th, 43rd and 52nd picks in the 2021 NBA Draft.

There are some great options at number 10, but after that, the draft is more or less a crapshoot, especially in the second round.

The Pels could choose to trade a few of the second rounders for picks in future drafts, as there is no way they are going to add five rookies to their roster this offseason.

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The Pelicans have a number of glaring holes that need to be fixed, including a lack of 3-point shooting and a big man who can stretch the floor.

They might be able to get both in college star Luka Garza, who had an amazing college career but many feel is too slow for the NBA.

Some recent video of a slimmed-down Garza may put some of those fears to rest, and if he is in better shape, he might be able to crack a rotation as a sharpshooting big man.

If Garza is still there when the Pelicans pick in the 2nd round of the NBA Draft, they will have to give him a look.

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The Pelicans could obviously use a big man who can spread the floor, as Zion Williamson needs space to operate and creates a lot of good looks for shooters.

The Pels thought Nico Melli might be that guy, but his shot was too inconsistent, something you cannot stay about Garza, who shot 44 percent from long range in his final year of college.

Here he is knocking down corner 3-point shots and looking a fitter than he was in college:

If Garza has a few big days in Chicago, he will climb the draft boards, as big men who can shoot are still a premium asset in the NBA.

Garza will need to show he can stay in front of people on defense and that he is able to switch on the perimeter pick-and-roll, which is a must for a big man in the modern game.

Garza is often mocked at the middle or end of the second round, so if he is still there when the Pelicans choose at 52, he would be a worthwhile risk as a guy who is a smart player whose shooting could be elite for a big man.

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