Which New Orleans Pelicans have All-Star potential?

Trey Murphy III & Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Trey Murphy III & Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

With the 2023 NBA Draft and Summer League now behind us, the most fun thing for fans of a young team (like the New Orleans Pelicans) to do at this point is to fantasize about the upside of all your young players. Who in this boyish bunch could someday blossom into an All-Star?

Is it Trey Murphy III (who appears posed for a Year 3 breakout)? Is it defensive dynamo Dyson Daniels? Or is it newly-drafted sharpshooter Jordan Hawkins?

Player projection is a difficult endeavor. That’s why the best in the practice get paid handsomely. However, the good news is that I may have some information that could lend us a helping hand.

Recently, I went ahead and charted the player archetypes of every All-Star season over the last five years. I did the last five years because the game has changed rapidly over the last couple of years, and what was once deemed to be an All-Star archetype 20 years ago likely doesn’t carry the same weight in today’s ultra-skilled game. Anyway, here is what I found:

We won’t waste time talking about Zion Williamson (“Offensive hybrid”) and Brandon Ingram (“Two-way wing/forward”) because they have both already shown the aptitude to provide All-Star-level production. We also won’t worry too much about CJ McCollum (“Offensive hybrid”) and Jonas Valanciunas (“Offense first big”) because they are aging out of their primes, and their peak years weren’t enough to reach All-Star status.

The guys we really want to focus on are the core four of Murphy, Daniels, Hawkins, and Herbert Jones. Which of these player archetypes could you see them fitting in?

If Murphy can find a way to add more to his off-the-dribble package, he could join the “Two-way wing/forward” archetype (the most common archetype for making All-Star teams over the last five years). However, as it currently stands, he falls more under the “Three and D wings/forwards” umbrella. And only one player (2018-19 Klay Thompson) of that archetype has made an All-Star team in the last five years.

As currently constructed, Hawkins’ game also falls under this “Three and D wings/forwards” mold, which doesn’t bode well for his chances of someday blossoming into an All-Star (unless he adds more to his off-the-dribble game).

Daniels and Jones probably fall under the “Defense first wings/forwards” category. But notice how we don’t have a single player of that archetype making an All-Star team over the last five years. That means that unless they add more to their offensive games, it is very unlikely that either of them earns an All-Star birth.

Because they already have the shooting part down, it seems more likely that Murphy or Hawkins can take the next level to ascend into an archetype that is more likely to become an All-Star than it does for Daniels and Jones.

However, the way it’s trending right now, it seems like all four of these guys are shaping up to be role players rather than stars. But that isn’t a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. New Orleans already has two stars in Williamson and Ingram. Now they just need these four to develop into players who can play alongside them.

Next. Players to trade Zion for. dark