Buddy Hield Is a Pelican

(Image via the National Basketball Association)

With the 6th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Pelicans selected Buddy Hield.

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(Image via the New Orleans Pelicans)

Here are the facts of that pick

  • Hield is the first, 1st round pick since Blake Griffin was taken 1st overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
  • Hield is the seventh top ten pick in Oklahoma basketball history.
  • Hield is the first draft pick out of the University of Oklahoma since Romero Osby was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NBA Draft.
  • Stacey King was also selected 6th overall in the 1989 NBA Draft.
  • Hield is the first ever draft pick into the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans franchise.
  • Hield is the highest drafted graduating senior since Sheldon Williams was selected 5th overall in the NBA Draft. (ESPN)
  • Hield joins Harvey Grant and Mookie Blaylock as the only three Oklahoma guards selected in the first round.

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(Image via the New Orleans Pelicans)

Buddy Hield’s fit with the New Orleans Pelicans

With the possibility of Eric Gordon heading out the door, Buddy Hield could come in and compete for a starting job over Tyreke Evans for New Orleans. The Pelicans do return an elite shooter in Quincy Pondexter, but Hield may bring more to the table in terms of energy, defense, and overall scoring. Pondexter is also considered more of a small forward, and not a shooting guard.

One thing that should worry Buddy Hield’s camp in terms of early, meaningful minutes, is that the Pelicans will be buyers in the free agency period. Will New Orleans go and find a veteran three and “D” kind of player to come in and start? If so, Hield will likely have to wait until year three to become a starter for the Pelicans.

Out of the gate, Buddy Hield is going to be able to come in and stretch the floor for Anthony Davis, and scoring point guard, Jrue Holiday. With Tyreke Evans basically being a “walking injury” the last few years, Hield may find himself get some starts if Eric Gordon chooses to leave New Orleans. Head Coach Alvin Gentry utilizes an up-tempo strategy. With that, he has previously demanded his team to play physical and aggressive on defense. This is an area where Buddy Hield is going to struggle with until he gets used to the physicality of the NBA. Hield is a high energy, high passion kind of player, but that only gets you so far in the NBA in terms of defensive ability. That will only get a player so far in the NBA. Fundamentals and a better understanding of angles on defense will help Buddy Hield until he gets used to the physicality of guard play.

Buddy Hield is the sort of player and person that is going to figure out his weaknesses, and then work his #{90cbdbedcebe3734fdfdeb1f9843068779d1ec8d5ef30619baff100fe391d921}! off until he gets better at it. He did just that when he was in Norman, Oklahoma. From a somewhat “broken” player in his freshman season, to the best player in college basketball in his senior season, the future only looks bright for Buddy Hield in New Orleans and the NBA.

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