Scout explains what to expect from Jordan Hawkins

Jordan Hawkins, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Jordan Hawkins, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

After much speculation that the New Orleans Pelicans would be trading up in the draft to select G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson, the team ultimately decided to keep their core roster intact and their original draft pick.

With that selection (the 14th overall pick in the draft), the Pelicans selected UConn Huskies sharpshooter Jordan Hawkins. As the “sharpshooter” designation implies, Hawkins can indeed shoot the basketball. He hit 38.8% of his 7.6 3-point attempts per game during his sophomore season.

But can his shooting translate in the NBA? Is there anything more the Pelicans can expect from him? To answer these questions, we asked NBA/college scout Chuck from the Chucking Darts NBA Podcast what we should expect from Hawkins. Here is what he said:

"Jordan Hawkins does not stop. Yes, he makes piles of 3s. 109 this year, to be exact. Among drafted underclassmen in the last 10 years, only two made more 3s in their drafted year: Trae Young and Jamal Murray. But Hawkins is not a blue-chip PG prospect, and he is only 6’5. After all, teams can find Landry Shamet or Isaiah Joe anywhere, right? What makes Hawkins worth the Pelicans’ lottery pick?Bluntly, he does not stop. He does not merely cut off screens; he sprints and sprints hard. When he elevates, he is off the ground quickly and, despite a lightning release, stays in the air just a bit longer, and gives gassed trailing defenders just an extra moment to run into him and trigger FTs. Jordan hit 125 of those, 4th among NCAA 1st rounders (Brandon Miller, Anthony Black, Marcus Sasser, all of whom did not sniff Hawkins’ 89% mark). He not only attacks open lanes, he mixes paces, especially off DHOs when he can keep trailers on his hip and engage the big. His finishing is still developing, but he shows flashes of seeking contact and keeping his air for finishing angles.On defense, his relentless pursuit and quick leaping helped him to block and rebound far more effectively than his frame might suggest. He may lack a top-10 prospect’s natural strength, but there is no smoke-ducking with Hawkins. There will be no plays off, few blown assignments, and even if Jordan’s length may lack against good NBA scorers, they will still have to earn their keep.This all adds up, of course. He was UConn’s best offensive player, and they steamrolled their way to a national championship behind a 121 offensive rating running pro-style sets in Hawkins’ minutes. Good players win, and teams like drafting them.New Orleans has ranked 24th and 29th in 3s attempted in Willie Green’s two years there, and so there is a temptation to say they prioritized “fit” over “best player available.” Even if that were true, the reality is that all players need an opportunity to pay off their draft selection. Some are good enough to claim minutes over established veterans immediately; that task is becoming increasingly difficult in a talent-soaked league. Others are given minutes while the team endures short-term pain. But in New Orleans, a good team will have Jordan Hawkins apply his craft immediately. They should wind him up and let him go. Once they do, he will not stop."

To learn more about Jordan Hawkins and his game, be sure to check out this in-depth podcast Chuck did on him a few months ago. 

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