Written by Jeff Duncan at NOLA.com
Little went right for the New Orleans Pelicans last season so they were overdue for some good fortune when the NBA Draft started on Thursday night.
And for once, seemingly everything went their way. Boston and Phoenix surprised the analysts and took Jaylen Brown and Dragan Bender ahead of them at Nos. 3 and 4, and the guy the Pelicans wanted and needed the most fell into their nest.
New Orleans Pelicans select Buddy Hield with 6th overall pick in 2016 NBA Draft
Hield made 45.7 percent of his 3-point attempts this past season for Oklahoma
For so many reasons, Oklahoma sharpshooter Buddy Hield was the perfect pick for the Pels. This was a no-brainer.
He is the best shooter in the NBA Draft. Heck, he’s one of the best shooters to come out of college basketball in years. The guy hit a ridiculous 45.7 percent of his 3-pointers at Oklahoma last season and sank a Curry-like 85 of 100 3-pointers in a workout for the Boston Celtics earlier this month. He routinely made that many or more in practice at OU.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, center, poses for photos with prospective NBA draft picks Buddy Hield (left in white jacket), Kris Dunn, right, Ben Simmons, third from left, and Brandon Ingram, second from right, before the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2016, in New York.
With his quick, high release and dead-eye marksmanship, he’s a perfect fit for coach Alvin Gentry’s pace-and-space offensive system, the ideal replacement for Eric Gordon and/or Ryan Anderson, should either or both leave via free agency.
Playing alongside Jrue Holiday at the point and Anthony Davis in the paint or at the elbow, Hield can plant himself behind the 3-point line on the wing and make opponents think twice about doubling A.D. No more watching Alonzo Gee or Dante Cunningham clang those wide-open looks from the corner.
“I’m a scorer,” Hield told reporters in New York on Thursday night. “I can shoot the ball a lot. Love to shoot. And I feel like when I go there (to New Orleans) I can open up the floor for Anthony Davis and other guys to be able to penetrate.”
Indeed, the threat of Hield on the wing should create space for every Pelican on the floor.
“For a guy like Anthony Davis, they have a guy like me who can shoot the ball really well can keep the floor spaced,” Hield said. “Create more space.”
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