Pelicans select E.J. Liddell with No. 41 pick

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With the No. 41 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Pelicans selected Ohio State big man E.J. Liddell.

Liddell spent three seasons at Ohio State, two of them as the full-time starter at power forward. In his sophomore season, he averaged 16.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. He initially declared for the 2021 NBA Draft but decided to return for his junior year.

In his junior season, Liddell posted career highs in points (19.4), rebounds (7.9), assists (2.5), and blocks (2.6) and increased his shooting percentages across the board. He scored a career-high 34 points against Northwestern in January. For his efforts, the 21-year-old was selected to the All-Big Ten first team.

Liddell had 16 points and 10 rebounds across 34 minutes in Ohio State's first-round victory over No. 10 Loyola-Chicago in the NCAA Tournament.

With his defensive prowess and ability to space the court, Liddell projects to be a quality impact backup big man who plays with an abundance of energy on the defensive end.

Bio

Position: Forward
School: Ohio State
College experience: Junior
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 243 lbs
Wingspan: 7-foot
Max vertical: N/A

Strengths

  • Well rounded and versatile defender who can defend on the perimeter and in the paint
  • Protects the rim, blocks shots from the paint, and rotates from the perimeter
  • Navigates post-ups well by either finishing or passing out of double-teams to open shooters
  • Can shoot the three on pick-and-pops and transition opportunities.
  • Boasts a strong frame

Weaknesses

  • Doesn't create separation well, which leads to many contested shots
  • Loose handle on drives to the basket
  • A lot of his attempts at the rim are single-handed shots
  • A tad undersized for his position, especially if he plays small-ball center
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Pelicans select E.J. Liddell with No. 41 pick
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