This Player is the secret to the Pelicans' spacing

The New Orleans Pelicans need shooting and this rookie is already delivering.

New Orleans Pelicans, Jordan Hawkins
New Orleans Pelicans, Jordan Hawkins / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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Jordan Hawkins is built for the moment

Jordan Hawkins does not carry himself like a normal rookie. He plays well on both sides of the court and always knows what to do to positively impact his team. He is a rookie but has a veteran's understanding of his role and responsibilities during any possession.

The rookie sharpshooter is a hawk (pun intended) on the defensive end. He consistently works hard, and it is evident that when he is on the floor. Hawkins defends with energy and attacks the ball in addition to impeding the ball handler. 

As the NCAA champion develops his physical tools in the league, his defense will likely improve as he adds weight. Even with his slight frame, Hawkins is not afraid to work hard in the paint to secure a board, an important trait in a player who may have to play a myriad of changing roles depending on the lineup he is in.

Hawkins’ time at UConn has been filled with high-pressure games, where he would use his movement skills and shooting to create pockets of space where he can punish defenses that do not respect his marksmanship. Hawkins seems to always be hot, and that's due to his level of preparation.

The rookie's quick trigger and willingness to take on challenges are necessary within an offense that can sometimes become lethargic. Hawkins has no problem firing off a quick three after creating a turnover on the defensive end, or getting scored on. No matter what happened in the last possession, Jordan is racing to the other side of the floor, into open space, where he's calling for the ball. 

While Hawkins’ handle is limited, there are ways to still create gravity for him using screening and motion, especially out of the dribble hand off, and in transition situations. His versatility & ability to play in a variety of lineups is important to the success of the team.

Hawkins will attack the rim, fire from deep, and has a great mid-range jumper, all of the makings of a three-level scorer. Hawkins is an elite shooter, and as seen during his time at UConn, he has no problem seeking out his shot, using screens and passing to carve and manipulate space, making openings where there were none in the past. The rookie is exceptional shooting after motion, especially out of ATOs. He can be a steady hand when the Pelicans have a cold stretch.

As his teammates recover from their various injuries, Jordan Hawkins should remain a focal point for this team. When he is on the floor, things go well for the Pelicans. Hawkins’ shooting is the bedrock of his skillset, but by marrying it with high-motion play and aggressive shot tendencies, he evolves from merely a spacer into an expander of the floor.

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