NBA mock draft roundup: With the No. 8 pick, the Pelicans select … | Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans hold the No. 8 pick headed into Thursday’s NBA draft.

It is a slot this front office is familiar with.

In 2019, shortly after lead executive David Griffin took over, the Pelicans traded back in the draft. They sent the No. 4 pick to the Atlanta Hawks. They got back the Nos. 8, 17 and 35 selections.

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At No. 8, the Pelicans took Jaxson Hayes, an athletic goal raw big man. Hayes’ playing time has fluctuated during his first three seasons. He was dropped from New Orleans’ rotation altogether in December, but in the spring, he began starting at power forward and played a role in his team’s turnaround.

Three years later, the Pelicans are set to pick at No. 8 again.

Here is what three different outlets envision the Pelicans doing with their first-round pick and our analysis of each selection.

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Sports Illustrated

The pick: Shaedon Sharpe, 6-foot-6 wing, Kentucky

Sports Illustrated says: The Pelicans successfully developed quite a bit of roster depth last season, leaving them in a flexible position going into draft night if they want to take a big swing. Whoever New Orleans drafts won’t be under pressure to contribute immediately, and it has future first-round picks still incoming from the Lakers and Bucks. Considering Sharpe’s upside and the fact the Pelicans may not draft this high for some time, this could be a soft landing spot for him.

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Our analysis: Sharpe has worked out for a handful of teams with lottery picks, including the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Hornets. The Pelicans have so far been unable to host Sharpe for a workout in New Orleans, a league source said. Sharpe was considered to be the top-ranked player in the 2022 high school class. He was a midyear enrollee at Kentucky, but he declined to play. He is a talented shot maker and gifted leaper. NBA talent evaluators wonder how he’ll respond when he faces intense competition.

Yahoo Sports

The pick: Dyson Daniels, 6-foot-8 guard, G League Ignite

Yahoo Sports says: The Australian native grew 2 inches from the start of the G League season and is now close to 6-8 in shoes. His height and high basketball IQ make him an intriguing prospect if he falls to No. 8 in the draft. The Pelicans could use a guard like Daniels with his length and plug him in right away next to CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram.

Our analysis: We’ve reported for weeks that the Pelicans have serious interest in Daniels. If he’s on the board at No. 8, there is a good chance that the Pelicans pick him. Daniels has great size for a guard. He is a gifted facilitator who is one of the best defensive prospects in his class. There are questions about Daniels’ outside shot. In 14 games with the G League Ignite, he shot 25.5% from 3-point land. Pelicans assistant Fred Vinson, who helped Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones improve their jumpers, is one of the NBA’s best shooting coaches. If Daniels lands in New Orleans, he could become Vinson’s next pupil.

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CBS Sports

The pick: daniels

CBS Sports says: Daniels served as the primary facilitator for G-League Ignite. His outside shot is a work in progress. But if the Pelicans have the appetite for a long-term play on the heels of a playoff appearance, Daniels has tremendous two-way upside.

Our analysis: Daniels’ versatility is one of his most attractive qualities. He can bring the ball up the floor and initiate offense or he can play on the wing. He should be able to guard multiple positions at the NBA level. He is a good side-to-side mover who disrupts offenses with his 6-10 wingspan. If the Pelicans are able to come away with Daniels on draft night, they will feel good about themselves.

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The New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers hold back-to-back lottery picks in Thursday’s NBA draft.

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