Pelicans draft: latest mock projects team to take another athletic wing

Bilal Coulibaly (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)
Bilal Coulibaly (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images) /

The 2023 NBA Draft is less than two months away. For the New Orleans Pelicans – a team that is not participating in the playoffs – this event marks the next important day in the franchise’s history (outside of the NBA Draft Lottery).

Naturally, with this draft being the next big thing Pelicans’ fans have to look forward to, everyone is wondering what the team will do with their latest lottery pick.

According to the latest mock draft done by No Ceilings, that pick (projected to be the 14th pick in the draft) will be used on French wing Bilal Coulibaly. Here is what No Ceiling’s Nathan Grubel and Maxwell Baumbach had to say about the selection.

"Standing 6’8” with a 7’2” wingspan, Bilal Coulibaly is a defensive playmaker with potent athleticism. He darts into passing lanes and meets opponents at the rim. His driving game is nasty, with great downhill burst, wiggle, and explosive one-footed leaping ability. Coulibaly has converted 70% of his shots at the rim playing in France’s top pro league. His shot and mid-range game are both works in progress, but he’s hit 35.3% of his threes across various pro leagues this season, which is a great starting point. Coulibaly comes in as an NBA athlete who can play a role at the professional level, as he’s shown in France. But for the Pelicans, who face an uncertain future, he also offers tantalizing upside, with the potential to be a high-end defender who can attack, make good decisions, and shoot. Even if he doesn’t reach his ceiling, he gives them another long, athletic wing alongside Trey Murphy and Herb Jones."

If this type of elevator pitch sounds familiar, it’s because it fits the Pelicans’ usual drafting modus operandi.

Who else have the Pelicans drafted recently that fits the four categories Analyst Shamit Dua highlighted in the tweet above? If you said Dyson Daniels, congratulations, you get a gold star!

As we highlighted during our in-depth breakdown of Daniels, the team’s 2022 draft pick and Coulibaly share a lot in common. That’s by no means a bad thing.

Actually, it is probably a good thing that New Orleans keeps drafting players like this, as that seems to be the direction the league is headed in as a whole. And if that’s the case, you can never have too many of those types of players.

Next. 10 Players the Pelicans gave up on way too soon. dark