The 2023 Summer League is officially underway, and that means we get to see the New Orleans Pelicans play some basketball. Their first game will be on Friday, July 7th (aka today) at 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
And when they do tip-off, there is one player that fans of the team would be wise to keep an extra eye on. That player is E.J. Liddell. The Pelicans’ 2022 second-round draft pick out of (The) Ohio State University.
Liddell was drafted with the 41st overall pick in the second round last season. However, he didn’t play a lick of regular season action because he tore his ACL in his right knee during a summer league game in 2022.
The reason that Pelicans fans should be on the lookout for him is that the team just signed him to a multi-year deal, indicating that, despite his major knee injury, the team has some hope that he can contribute to their regular season team.
Liddell should be active and ready to go for parts of the summer league, so this will give folks a chance to see how much he’s improved over the last year and how much that ACL injury will hamper him moving forward. In his junior year at Ohio State, Liddell averaged 19.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 2.6 BPG on 59.8% True Shooting in 33.2 minutes of action per game (he appeared in 32 games).
Along with Liddell, this year’s summer league will also mark the first time we get to see 2023 first-round pick Jordan Hawkins suit for the Pelicans. This will also be a chance for us to see the first undrafted player they signed after the 2023 NBA Draft – Landers Nolley II.
Dyson Daniels will also be participating in this year’s festivities. Daniels is looking to build on the great promise that he flashed during his rookie season. Although it is unknown how much he will be playing, it would be a great sign for his development if he could star against lower-level talent (similar to how his colleague Keegan Murray has so far).
Outside of the four players we’ve mentioned already, the rest of the roster includes Frank Bartley IV, Izaiah Brockington, Garrison Brooks, Jalen Crutcher, Kamaka Hepa, Tevian Jones, Karlo Matković, Liam Robbins, and Dereon Seabron.