Pelicans add 3-point shooting by taking Connecticut’s Jordan Hawkins with 14th pick

Pelicans add 3-point shooting by taking Connecticut's Jordan Hawkins with 14th pick
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The New Orleans Pelicans have struggled to put outside shooting around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. In the past three seasons, the Pelicans have finished 27th, 28th and 23rd in 3-pointers made.

On Thursday, the Pelicans took a step toward addressing their lack of floor spacing. With the 14th pick, they took Connecticut’s Jordan Hawkins, a player who helped the Huskies win a national championship last season and was arguably the best 3-point shooter in the draft.

Hawkins shot 38.8% on 7.6 attempts per game in his sophomore season at Connecticut. He was automatic from a stand-still position, but what makes him special is his ability to hit shots on the move. Hawkins was in constant motion in college. He ran around screens all game and stressed defenses out with his ability to sink contested jumpers.

Hawkins upped his scoring average from 5.8 points per game as a freshman to 16.2 ppg his sophomore year. He ranked third in the Big East in scoring.

The Pelicans had interest in trading up for G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson but no deal came to fruition. The Portland Trail Blazers selected Henderson at No. 3. Once it was clear Henderson was not gettable, the Pelicans turned their attention toward adding shooting around their main pieces.

Rumors swirled that the Pelicans could include Williamson or Ingram in a trade-up scenario, but the Pelicans appear primed to go into next season with both of them on the roster. 

The Pelicans identified rim protection and outside shooting as their two biggest needs coming off of last season. New Orleans relied heavily on two players, guard CJ McCollum and wing Trey Murphy, to provide shooting. Those two combined to hit 46% of the Pelicans’ 3s in 2022-23. The addition of Hawkins should bring New Orleans more shooting depth. 

Hawkins scored 16 points in Connecticut’s national championship game win over San Diego State. The majority of his points came from behind the arc, as he drilled three 3s.

Hawkins’ 87.2% free-throw percentage is another indicator of his elite shooting ability. The question for him at the NBA level is how he can affect games in other ways besides 3-point shooting. Hawkins is 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds — a little undersized for a shooting guard. He is a competitive defender but not regarded as a stopper on that end. 

The Pelicans are coming off a season in which they finished ninth in the Western Conference. As they prepare to head into a fifth season of Williamson and Ingram paired together, they badly need to start winning. The team is hopeful Hawkins can be a contributor right away. 

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About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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