It’s Buddy Time

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Published: June 23, 2016

Things seemed to break perfectly Buddy Hield and the Pelicans, who really need help at the guard positions. Not one guard was picked in the top 4, despite Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray, and Kris Dunn all being projected at some point or another to be picked. Minnesota, with the 5th pick, took Kris Dunn, who was Pelican fans’ favorite choice and probably the best prospect of the 3, but that still left 19 year old Jamal Murray and the NCAA’s biggest performer Buddy Hield for the Pels. With Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson gone, either one of the sharp shooting guards would be a welcome addition, and in the end, the Pels went with the 4 year college star who improved every single year until he was the best player in the league.

If you need reassurance that this was a good pick, just read to what Ryan Schwan had to say about the guard in out 6th pick tournament:

If we’ve learned anything the past five years, teams that are good must have good perimeter shooting. Not should have. MUST have. And Buddy is one of the best college shooters ever. He shot 45.7% on 8.7 attempts a game. EIGHT POINT SEVEN. You know who never did that? Steph Curry. Neither did Klay Thompson or J.J. Redick. Damian Lillard? Nope. Buddy posted a True Shooting Percentage of 66.5%. Do you know how many other college players scored that efficiently last season and weren’t just dunking? No one. How about the year before? That would be Nobody.

You know what I’m tired of? Guys who don’t leave it all on the floor. Guys who take plays off. Guys who don’t develop their skills and are the same guy now as the one that joined the team.

In sum. Guys who don’t love the game.

Do you know who loves the game? Buddy. Do you know who improved by leaps and bounds every year he was in college? Buddy. Do you know who has words like “plays extremely hard” and “will do everything in his power to win” in every single draft scouting report this summer?

Buddy.

The guy gives a damn, works like a dog, won’t quit, and hasn’t missed a game since his freshman year. Doesn’t that sound like a refreshing change of pace? And that’s even before we get to his skill level. I mentioned his shooting before – but Hield is so much more than that.  He was absolutely, monstrously elite last year as a scorer. In the last 20 years only one other college player has scored as much and as efficiently as Buddy Hield did last year for Oklahoma.

He’s not the youngest guy in the draft, but he has tons of room to improve and the one skill that he definitely has down is one the things the Pels need the most. He’s a big name that brings more attention to New Orleans basketball. It is hard to be upset with this pick. The future just got a little bit brighter for this team.

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