2023 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks land difference-maker, Victor Wembanyama heads East

2023 NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama
2023 NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages
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14. New Orleans Pelicans acquire Jalen Hood-Schifino

The Pelicans used C.J. McCollum as their primary point guard this season, and they have attempted to address that position in two of the last three drafts. Kira Lewis Jr. and Dyson Daniels were both lottery picks who struggled to get consistent minutes last season. New Orleans desperately needs an upgrade at the one and to stay healthy if they plan on making a run in the postseason.

Hood-Schifino had an up-and-down lone season at Indiana, and he is not ready to be a lead ball-handler immediately. Could the 20-year-old pop in New Orleans where Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and McCollum can lighten his playmaking duties? Hood-Schifino is a strong pick and roll ball-handler that could give the Pels another weapon in their attempt to leap into contention.

As a freshman, he averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 0.8 steals in 33.1 minutes per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field, 33.3 percent on his 3-point tries, and 77.6 percent from the foul line. His jumper was inconsistent with questionable mechanics. Whoever drafts him will look to improve his shooting, but can he make the adjustments?

Jalen Hood-Schifino needs time to develop, but the Pelicans are known for drafting players with plus positional size and defensive versatility. The 20-year-old fits that mold, and he has immense upside as the final lottery selection.