The Pelican Blog

anthony_bennett_640x303.jpg

Bennett surfaces at No. 6 in multiple mocks

By: Pelicans.com

Even though it’s only been just two weeks since the 2013 NBA draft lottery, there has been a noticeable change in mock-draft projections for what New Orleans will do with its first-round pick. On May 22, the day after the Pelicans wound up sixth on lotto night, none of the mocks surveyed predicted UNLV standout Anthony Bennett as NOLA’s pick. This time, three national websites project Bennett (pictured wearing sling above, second from right, speaking with Anthony Davis) as the choice at No. 6. Additionally, Maryland big man Alex Len has gone from a common name to only appearing as the sixth pick on Chad Ford’s mock draft at ESPN.com. Here are the players each website is projecting the Pelicans to select during the Thursday, June 27 draft. All quotes are provided by the respective websites:

NBA.com: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
He left school after a standout sophomore season partly because the decision by Marcus Smart to return to Oklahoma State gave Burke a clear path to being the top prospect at his position, a great held to a draft standing. Talk about a point guard who sees the court.

ESPN.com: Alex Len, center, Maryland
The Pelicans will take a long, hard look at both Burke and Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams. But I'm not sure they'll bite. This team drafted Austin Rivers last year to be its point guard of the future and sources say that the team hasn't given up on Rivers, despite a miserable rookie season. With Greivis Vasquez also in the backcourt, point guard isn't a huge need if they're happy with Vasquez and Rivers. That makes Len an attractive option here. The Pelicans see Anthony Davis as a 4 in the NBA and aren't convinced Robin Lopez is the long-term answer at the 5. Len has enormous potential at the 5. He can score, rebound and block shots. If his foot wasn't injured, I think he'd get much more consideration at No. 1. He could be a steal for the Pelicans here.

SI.com: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
Austin Rivers did little last season to suggest he is the long-term solution at point guard, and though Greivis Vasquez was effective, he may not be the answer either. Burke is the kind of dynamic playmaker/scorer whom the Pelicans need to boost an offense lacking in weapons.

CBSSports.com (analyst Matt Moore): Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
Another guard for New Orleans? Yes. Another guard. Look, you can't count on Austin Rivers improving. Eric Gordon has been a malcontent. And Greivis Vasquez was wonderful but would be even moreso as a reserve. This gives them a combo scoring guard, makes Gordon movable and gives them a leader. Sold.

CBSSports.com (analyst Gary Parrish): Anthony Bennett, power forward, UNLV
I know, New Orleans already has a power forward named Anthony Davis. But New Orleans can't pass on Bennett here. He has too much upside to ignore. Just draft him and figure it out later.

Yahoo.com: Anthony Bennett, power forward, UNLV
New Orleans continues to move forward in the post-Chris Paul era with a great building block in Anthony Davis and plenty of flexibility to add additional talent. Eric Gordon’s status on the team remains murky, and Austin Rivers’ rookie season wasn't as promising as some had hoped, but the team has plenty of talented young pieces in place. Greivis Vasquez, Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez are locked into affordable contracts. The front office insists it will pick the best talent available regardless of position, and with Bennett somewhat surprisingly dropping here in this particularly scenario, it seems unlikely that New Orleans would pass on him.

Just the pick (no comments)
NBADraft.net: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
DraftExpress.com: Anthony Bennett, power forward, UNLV