The New Orleans Pelicans add more shooting by signing undrafted guard

Landers Nolley II, Cincinnati Bearcats. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Landers Nolley II, Cincinnati Bearcats. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans were not a good shooting team last year, and as a result, their spacing often (and offense as a whole) waned because of it. This off-season, they needed to make sure they did something about that, especially since they opted not to trade Zion Williamson to move up in the draft for Scoot Henderson. The more spacing you can get a paint punisher like Williamson, the better.

And on the night of the 2023 NBA Draft, the Pelicans did everything in their power to remedy this issue. It started with them drafting UConn Huskies’ sharpshooter Jordan Hawkins with the 14th overall pick in the draft.

But they weren’t done after that. No, no. After Adam Silver and Mark Tatum concluded announcing picks, the Pelicans went out and signed undrafted Cincinnati Bearcats guard Landers Nolley II.

In four years of college, Nolley shot 36.8% on 5.8 3-point attempts per game. During his senior season at Cincinnati, he took his marksmanship to another level – averaging 41.7% on 6.4 3-point attempts per game. According to Ken Pom’s database, Nolley led the entire American Athletic Conference (AAC) with that 3-point percentage during the 2022-23 season.

At 6’7, with a 6’11 wingspan, Nolley seems to fit the length agenda the Pelicans have been following with their wings and forwards. And from looking at the big boards of draft analysts, it appears that the Pelicans may have been able to nab a steal in the undrafted market. Adam Spinella (aka the brain behind “The Box and One” YouTube channel and substack) had Nolley ranked 43rd on his board coming into the draft on Thursday.

Further adding to the intrigue surrounding this signing by the Pelicans is the team’s history of turning undrafted players into solid rotational pieces. Most recently, the team has struck gold with undrafted players like Naji Marshall and Jose Alvarado.

Hopefully, Nolley can prove to be the next in the lineage of undrafted diamonds discovered by the Pelicans.

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