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Pelicans See Potential In Youngest 2022 NBA Draft Prospects


The Latest Orleans Pelicans have a full roster and plans for one more NBA Playoffs run next season. They will afford to draft for potential. They shouldn’t have to search out someone who could have more burdens and responsibilities than they’ll handle. Among the youngest prospects within the 2022 NBA Draft could pay dividends for the remainder of the last decade.

The youngest player within the draft can turn right into a contributor quickly. Josh Primo (Spurs) and Josh Giddey (Thunder) were the youngest players within the NBA last 12 months they usually acquitted themselves well enough. Each look to be constructing blocks for San Antonio and Oklahoma City, respectively.

Andrew Bynum, Jermaine O’Neal, Tracy McGrady, Ersan Ilyasova, Al Harrington, Andrei Kirilenko, and Daryl Dawkins were all of the youngest players of their respective drafts. So were LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

Admittedly, on the opposite end of this spectrum are busts like Darko Milicic, Jonathan Bender, and Yaroslav Korolev. C.J. Miles, Andris Biedrins, and Amir Johnson were no less than serviceable reserves.

The 2 youngest players are Leonard Miller and Jean Montero. Miller (Team Canada) is a second-round option with the potential to turn into a star. Montero has a more limited ceiling but could grow right into a rotational option in a number of years.

A.J. Griffin (third) and Jalen Duren (4th) follow Miller and Montero on the youth prospect age charts. Each Griffin and Duren are expected to be lottery picks and each have been rumored to be targets of the Pelicans.

Apr 2, 2022; Latest Orleans, LA, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward AJ Griffin (21) passes the ball to protect Jeremy Roach (3) against North Carolina Tar Heels forward Leaky Black (1) in the course of the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament Final 4 semifinals at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Griffin is 220 kilos on a 6’6’’ frame with a 7’2’’ wingspan. The Pelicans wouldn’t have a ‘small guard problem’ in the event that they land Griffin. He can also be among the best pure shooters coming into the league. He would get spot minutes to learn the NBA game as a floor-spacing luxury who made almost 50% of his three-pointers last season.

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Griffin’s biggest draft flag is his injury history. He has had some trouble together with his knees and it has affected his lateral quickness on defense. His shooting base is unorthodox, wider than usual sharpshooters. Griffin says his biggest influence growing up was Jimmy Butler.

Griffin is a coach’s son who could peak at the identical levels as Kawhi Leonard, OG Anunoby, or Jaylen Brown. It might be hard to pass up on a young player who was also essentially the most efficient player in college basketball at 50/45/80 shooting splits.

Duren is one of the crucial physically gifted athletes within the NBA Draft, with the strength to assist Zion Williamson and Jonas Valancuinas bully opponents within the paint. He’s raw, growing right into a 6’11’’ foot frame and sports a 7’5’’ wingspan. Duren averaged 12.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and a couple of.1 blocks in 25.3 minutes per game for Memphis last 12 months.

He matches the classical center mold but has shown a soft shooting touch operating from the low block dunker’s spot. He’s powerful enough to carry his own within the paint until he extends his range and has great hands for grabbing off-target passes. Duren did well finding rolling shooters, so he wouldn’t be forcing the difficulty with a ball-stopping post up every possession.

Duren will probably never develop the range of Valanciunas but he could possibly be a serviceable depth piece until he pieces together his game. The Pelicans could have offensive firepower on the reserve units. Duren can no less than secure rebounds, alter shots, and run the ground while Williamson and Valanciunas take breathers.

Memphis Tigers center Jalen Duren reaches out for a rebound against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in their second-round NCAA Tournament matchup on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Memphis Tigers center Jalen Duren reaches out for a rebound against the Gonzaga Bulldogs of their second-round NCAA Tournament matchup on Saturday, March 19, 2022, on the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. Joe Rondone/The Business Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Each Griffin and Duren have worked out for teams picking before the Pelicans. Duren has had conversations with Portland and the Trail Blazers hold the seventh overall picks. If the Pelicans are sold on Griffin or Duren they might need to make a move on draft day.

Duren is great at getting his team second-chance points. Latest Orleans won’t get a second probability at a lottery pick for so long as Brandon Ingram is on the town. Still, they’ll afford to take a shot on one in all the youngest players within the 2022 NBA Draft. 

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