New Orleans Pelicans select Jordan Hawkins with first round pick

Jordan Hawkins, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jordan Hawkins, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

After months of waiting, we now know who the New Orleans Pelicans will be adding to their roster in the 2023 NBA Draft. With the 14th overall pick, the Pelicans selected UConn Huskies sharpshooter Jordan Hawkins.

Adding Hawkins to the Pelicans addresses arguably the team’s biggest weakness: shooting. Last season, New Orleans was 23rd in 3-point makes (11.0) and 29th in 3-point attempts (30.1). They also rostered only four players who have been league-average or higher on wide-open 3-point percentage in the last three seasons.

In his two years at UConn, Hawkins shot 37.6% on 5.7 3-point attempts per game – including 38.8% on 7.6 attempts per game during his sophomore season. On top of that, he was a career 87.2% free throw shooter in college. This matters because free throw shooting is one of the best context-independent measures of shooting we have publicly available to us.

This pick is exactly what ESPN predicted in their final mock draft of the cycle. Here is what Jeremy Woo had to say about the projection at the time:

"“Hawkins’ deadeye movement shooting would immediately add a different dimension to their personnel on a roster already full of ball handlers. His experience level and valuable role might make him more appealing here than trying to develop a younger guard on a longer timeline. Hawkins could be off the board already, with Orlando and Toronto looking at him as an option, and if New Orleans were to pass, he likely won’t fall too far into the teens.”"

Hawkins (21) will be joining an already promising young core of players that includes Zion Williamson (22), Brandon Ingram (25), Trey Murphy III (23), Dyson Daniels (20), Herbert Jones (24), and Jose Alvarado (25).

Another thing worth noting is that, despite all the rumors that were swirling around about them making a potential move, the Pelicans did not trade up to try and draft G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson – who was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers. This indicates that they are going to move forward with the Williamson/Ingram duo (which ultimately should be the right call if they stay healthy).

Next. 3 disastrous mistakes the Pelicans must avoid making this summer. dark