New Orleans Pelicans at the Draft Combine: Day Two

Published: May 17, 2013

A list of things that stood out on day two at the combine. To read about day one, click here.

Cody Zeller is more David Lee than Andrew Bogut

As much as Zeller hurt his stock yesterday by measuring poorly, he helped himself today with athletic testing. There is no way he can be a traditional center in the NBA, but he tested very similar to David Lee coming out of college, so he can be an athletic power forward and an occasional small ball center. Remember, David Lee was very raw coming out of college and took time to develop his face up game. Zeller is further along at this point, so it is not crazy to think that he can become a fringe All-Star in a league that values offense, but don’t expect him to change the game on defense.

All that being said, David Lee put up those numbers and had a similar season production wise at UF and still went 30th overall. Zeller definitely helped himself, but he didn’t play as athletic as the numbers he posted today, so GM’s will take that into account. At the end of the day he might not fall out of the top 20 (I thought that was a real possibility after yesterday), but I don’t expect him to be the top-10 pick that seemed like a lock two months ago either. He should fall somewhere in between.

Steven Adams Will Fool Somebody

Adams followed up his great day yesterday with another good one today, and some GM will get sucked in. The guy did NOTHING at Pittsburgh, despite being a legit 7-footer in a conference that lacked size last year. He averaged 7 and 6, but even those numbers were inflated. He only scored in double digits five times in the regular season. His opponents? Deleware, Deleware State, Bethune-Cookman, Fordham, and Cincinnati. Only four games with double digit rebounds, and three of them came against scrub teams as well. One team will talk itself into taking Adams way too high, justifying it by saying Andre Drummond didn’t do much in college either, but Drummond was a freak athlete. Adams is not that.

Trey Burke finished in the Middle of a Very Impressive Point Guard Class

The point guard class this year is one for the ages, at least athletically. While Trey Burke had the best year out of all of them on the court, he was only so-so when it came to the physical testing today. He had a solid standing vertical of 29.5″, but his lane agility time was below average and as I pointed out in last week’s Missing Piece, that was going to be huge for him. You look at his main competitor for the #1 point guard spot Michael Carter-Williams, and MCW just blew him away. I looked over all the participants in the last ten years and when you factor in the measurables and the athletic testing, the closest comparison for Burke is Chris Quinn while the closest comparison for MCW is Jrue Holiday. Now, on the court still matters more, but remember that teams are drafting for the long term, not tomorrow. Tyreke Evans was far better than Holiday in their rookie seasons, but Holiday is the All-Star now. Just something to keep in mind. In fact, according to one Hoopsworld reporter who spoke with GM’s, he found at least four teams that said they would take MCW over Burke right now. Burke had the better season, MCW had the better combine. Individual workouts will decide this battle.

Other News and Notes

– Yesterday, I said Gobert could move into the #2 center spot if he ran a decent time in the agility drill. He finished dead last among centers at 12.85. That is similar to guys like Brooke Lopez and Jared Sullinger. His vert and sprint numbers were also poor. When a guy has a reach of 9’7″, he doesn’t have to be an elite athlete to protect the rim, but now that the NBA is so much pick and roll/pick and pop, he can be exposed on defense. On a positive note, Gobert was actually 2nd amongst bigs in the spot-up shooting portion, so he has some serious potential there.

– Victor Oladipo tested better than Dwayne Wade in the athletic drills. He is actually very similar to Iman Shumpert coming out, and I think Shumpert is a great comparison defensively. Shumpert on defense and Wilson Chandler on offense is Oladipo’s floor, while I still believe Dwayne Wade is his ceiling. Can’t imagine Dell passing on this guy if he is still on the board when the Pelicans pick.

– Otto Porter is starting to lose momentum and Ryan Schwan has pointed out several times on the podcast that there is always a guy who slides way down this time of year, and usually it is a productive wing who doesn’t exactly wow in the pre-draft tests and workouts. I don’t think that will happen to Porter this year, but I never thought Danny Granger or Kawhi Leonard would fall as far as they did. Porter’s weight is an issue, and his standing vertical and sprint time was unimpressive as well. He had one great year at Georgetown, but lost in the first round to a 15 seed and had a poor game in the tournament. I am not saying he will fall, but if you told me that one guy from the top six or seven in most mocks would fall down to the teens and made me guess who it was, I would pick Porter.

– On the flip side, as long time reader Eric Ingis emailed me, there are always guys projected to go mid to late 1st this time of year who shoot up into the lottery. If I had to guess who those guys could be this year, I would say CJ Leslie, Giannis Adetokoubo, and Allen Crabbe all have a chance to be ‘that guy’ this year. Also, Caldwell-Pope could go from a guy that is a fringe lottery pick to someone who goes in the top six, similar to what we saw from Waiters and Lillard last year.

– Supposedly the whispers are that the Jazz are obsessed with CJ McCollum. If the Pelicans fall to six or seven and don’t love anybody on the board, trading with the Jazz wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. The Jazz have picks 14 and 21 plus several nice young pieces on rookie contracts.

– People seem a little worried because Monty said that the Pelicans would draft for need this year over BPA. Personally, I disagree with that strategy 100 out of 100 times, but look again at what he really said. “We’re at a point now where we go by need and we’re trying to fulfill those needs as opposed to just taking best talent. Now if the need is gone, then you take the best player.”

Isn’t that the same as saying that if all things are equal, he will take the player at a position they need? He says that if the need is gone, he will take BPA. So, it’s kind of a backwards way of saying the same thing everyone else says, at least that is the way I read it. Unless he literally means that they will only draft a player at a position of strength if every single draft eligible player at a position of need is off the board. The bigger question is what do the Pelicans think their needs are. Small forward, obviously. But do they think center is a need? How about point guard?  Better yet, if they anticipate moving Gordon eventually, is shooting guard a need? I think you can at least argue that every position other than power forward could be considered a need, so it is a moot point anyway.

– Draft Lottery is Tuesday night, but before then you will have one more Missing Piece tomorrow and a Live Video Chat with the Bourbon Street Shots crew to get you ready for the big night that will kick off an incredible offseason.


  1. Snow

    May 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    On the board, we have Oladipo and Porter both available, who will the Pelicans choose in your opinion?

  2. Jewelz

    May 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I would think they would go with oladipo but as must as I like him I like trey Burke more but hey u can’t go wrong with either one

  3. Bigeauz

    May 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    If I had to guess, I would think that the brass (or at least me)prioritize needs as SF, SG, C, PG. Although a lot of folks have given up on the Rivers PG already, I don’t think Monty has. Personal ties may get in the way on that one. And speedy, intense, defensive minded wings are the priority I would think, even if it pisses off EG. But yeah, Oldadipo FTW.

  4. LAHornet85

    May 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    The question is how does Monty define need? We usually think of need based on position, like “we need a SF”. But maybe he’s thinking “we need perimeter defense”. And so Dipo, who’s not at a need position, would be a need player.

    At least I hope that’s the way they’re thinking, cause I want some more Dipo in my life.

  5. Michael McNamara

    May 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    @Snow I am leaning more and more towards Oladipo every day and I honestly think he is somewhere between 1 and 3 on our big board.

  6. KingJewelz

    May 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    My hope is that plan A for the Pelicans would be trey Burke dude is a young version of a player that we all want back in cp3 only he will be young and cheaper if Burke is gone Plan B would Have to be oladipo But only thing with that is How do you play him and Gordon?.. Plan C then Becomes Otto porter but I just don’t see him dropping to us at 5-7 Tho and the last guy I would like and most ppl don’t would be shabazz knowing that he is falling u maybe able to trade down pick up some picks or player and still get him even tho I not that high on him as the other I think Monty can bring out the best in him!…other way it will be fun and even doe we all like different players its all about making the team better and I believe we will get a good player!! ….lets go pelicans!!!

  7. BowToTheBill23

    May 17, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I was really hoping that even if we got the 5th or 6th pick, Oladipo would fall due to his offense. But with these combine numbers, it’s getting close to the point where we almost have to get a top 3 pick to get one of the Big 4. The other hope I have is that, even if we don’t land a top 3, that the Magic land 3 or 4 and maybe reach for Burke.

    • KingJewelz

      May 18, 2013 at 12:42 am

      I STILL rather have Trey Burke He is the leader WE need for this team and the second coming of cp3 and would bring leadership and a will to win and make everybody around him better!..last season we lost games cuz there was no “go -to guy” that was clutch add this guy with Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis and we are building something great!! But that is just my view

  8. Flight of the Pelicans

    May 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Loving the switch to Livefyre!!!!!

    • Jason Calmes

      May 18, 2013 at 12:04 am

      Told you we had more changes coming.

      And this isn’t everything!

    • Jason Calmes

      May 18, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Told you we had more changes coming.
      And this isn’t everything!

      • jsl05

        May 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm

        Jason Calmes What else should we expect?

      • Jason Calmes

        May 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        jsl05 I’d hate to over-promise, but we hope that whatever we accomplish is enjoyed.

  9. tlsmoove

    May 18, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Somebody justify not taking anthony bennett? I’m just curious.

    • BowToTheBill23

      May 18, 2013 at 7:45 am

      tlsmoove doesn’t play any defense. And plus, as McNamara has pointed out, he should be in the low post almost all the time, but he has a tendency to fall in love with his jumper.

  10. Chamilltheking

    May 18, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Imma lay this out easy Trey Burke is the answer to jump start the Pelicans Era!!! He is a leader on the floor and brings tremulous desire to win which we need, not to mention he is the second to CP3!! This small forward position can be answered in free agency with a veteran quality PROVEN player!! (Josh Smith). Burke is marketable which brings in ticket sales. There you go contender team on the rise.

    • soulbreaker

      May 18, 2013 at 12:45 am

      Chamilltheking Smith is a PF, we need one player who can shoot 3s  and defend, like Kawhi or Barnes

      • Chamilltheking

        May 18, 2013 at 12:50 am

        True but smith did play small forward and was exactly pretty good to let you kno also he is a big body quote on quote we NEEED!! Plus three point shooters r role players who we can also find in fa to plug in the game at will like Ryan Anderson!

      • KingJewelz

        May 18, 2013 at 12:52 am

        I believe that josh smith can play the sf spot…also you can sign a jj reddick to go along Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon to do that

      • soulbreaker

        May 18, 2013 at 2:22 am

        KingJewelz he can guard SF? yes. He can play at SF? no way. He can´t shoot at all away from the rim

      • KingJewelz

        May 18, 2013 at 8:45 am

        But will he be an upgrade?…would he still score? And would he make and impact the answer to all is yes but would he be a Monty type of player the answer is no

  11. Chamilltheking

    May 18, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Pls stop with all the we need three point shooters yea they coo but we don’t wanna be the KNICKS who live and die by the three And it comes and bites in the u kno what!!!

    • soulbreaker

      May 18, 2013 at 2:23 am

      Chamilltheking it´s true, but we can´t live w/o defense in the wings

  12. daThRONe

    May 18, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Lane agility times are the end all be all to defense. Chris Paul post knee injury just made a 1st team all defense. Chris’ agility time was worse than Jameer Nelson. Jason Kidd is still a decent defender and he’s a year away from receiving SSI.

    • daThRONe

      May 18, 2013 at 8:28 am


  13. Cubancaniac

    May 18, 2013 at 8:47 am

    What if we were to get Olidapo and then try to trade back in for Larkin??? I really like him! I think he could be the second best point in this draft! I love Trey but i wouldnt mind this scenario!

    • Caffeinedisaster

      May 20, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Cubancaniac This guy ^………  I like this guy.

  14. 504ever

    May 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Anyone know what players the Hornets interviewed?  If they are considering acquiring/buying a 2nd round pick?  (There are some very interesting players I would take a flier on in the mid to late 2nd round.)

  15. daThRONe

    May 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Just to add more prospective to Trey Burke lane agility testing as it relates to defense. Austin Rivers was our best perimeter defender last year showing great promise in that area before the injury. His lane agility numbers………….11.54
    It means so little that it’s funny we are talking like it makes a breaks players. Cody Zellers time was eye popping. Do you want him defending guards hell no.

    • usnfish

      May 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      daThRONe Speaking of….
      Avery Bradley – 11.47
      Derrick Rose – 11.69

  16. Caffeinedisaster

    May 20, 2013 at 11:45 am

    @LAHornet85 That is a very good point.  Monty’s said it before, positions don’t exist anymore.

  17. Caffeinedisaster

    May 20, 2013 at 11:51 am

    @Snow  Draft Oladipo.  He has “Superstar Potential”.  Then we see what happens with EJ.  Either he improves and stays in the starting lineup or we ship him out to a team that’s blinded by love. 
    Perhaps Gordon could even be our “James Harden in OKC”, coming off the bench to score 20 in limited action b/c of his injury history. (ie, no back-to-backs)
    The possibilities are endless.

    • Caffeinedisaster

      May 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

      There are always decent SFs in free agency or available for trade.  This league is loaded with decent role-playing 3s.

  18. cell22

    May 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I was so surprised by Michael Carter Williams’ numbers.  His scouting reports said his problem is that he isnt very athletic but his numbers seem to say otherwise.  Michael, if we get a 7th pick and don’t trade do we take a hard look at him? Talk me into MCW with the 7th pick someone.

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