2022 NBA Draft Profile



Round 241
Drafted By:New Orleans Pelicans
6-7 / 243 lbs
Ohio State
United States
Draft 2022

Prospect Overview

Strong-framed forward who made significant strides as a three-point shooter and shot blocker as a junior at Ohio State to complement his interior scoring ability.

About EJ Liddell

EJ Liddell is a strong, tough forward whose improvement as a shooter and shot blocker in his junior year at Ohio State propelled him to All-American honors. Rising to prominence nationally during his junior year of high school, the Illinois native finished his prep career at Belleville West High School (IL) ranked among the consensus top-50 prospects in the high school class of 2019.  Playing a rotation role as a freshman under Head Coach Chris Holtmann at Ohio State, Liddell emerged as one of the better forwards in the Big Ten as a sophomore but solidified his standing from an NBA perspective as a junior as he improved steadily over his three collegiate seasons.  Averaging 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.6 blocks over 33.2 minutes per game while shooting 37% from beyond the arc, Liddell lifted the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament while earning multiple All-American third team honors.

• Measured standing 6’7 in shoes with a powerfully built 243-pound frame and a 6’11.75 wingspan, Liddell is a physical forward with good explosiveness.  

• Carrying a heavy offensive burden for the Buckeyes, Liddell created his own shot extensively from the post while often leaning on his ability to jump-stop and power into short-range shots to score inside.  Emerging as a viable pick and pop threat to go along with his ability to catch lobs, crash the glass, draw fouls in bunches, and find the open man with solid vision, he was a matchup problem at the collegiate level.  While he has room to smooth out his mechanics, his progression as a shooter is encouraging and landed him among the more efficient volume scorers in the college game last year.

• Turning a corner as a shot blocker, Liddell emerged as a defensive anchor for the Buckeyes as a junior as he rotated with purpose, showed improved intensity on switches, and competed steadily against bigger players on the interior.  While he fared better against true centers some nights than others, he consistently made an impact on and off the ball as a junior flashing intriguing versatility.

Advanced Stats

• Playing a somewhat unique role with a third of his possessions coming in one-on-one situations in the post or midrange area and another third coming from spot ups or pick and pops, Liddell carried the Buckeyes with his improved consistency as an inside-outside threat.  Scoring with excellent efficiency despite frequently rising up for contested jumpers in midrange spots, he still proved more adept at creating space with his body than turning the corner as a driver from the perimeter.  Even so, his rise as a floor spacer added a dimension to his game at the collegiate level and certainly broadened his appeal from an NBA perspective.

• Doing much of his damage in the post, he averaged 1.04 points per Post Up possession [87th percentile] despite drawing frequent double-teams.  Attacking defenders in a variety of ways looking for seals, facing up, getting to turnaround jumpers over both shoulders, or going middle to jump stop and figuring it out from there, he scored steadily on the block.  

• Seeing few easy shots around the rim often creating those he did attempt inside himself, he averaged a serviceable 1.21 points per finishing opportunity [68th percentile].  Finishing lobs, using timing to get his shot off over bigger defenders, making an impact on the glass, and occasionally getting downhill against slower footed big men, Liddell’s physicality and leaping ability made him a factor inside.

• Taking a big leap as a perimeter weapon after barely shooting the three at all two years ago, Liddell averaged 1.06 points per jump shot in the half court [80th percentile].  While he still left some shots flat and has room to smooth out his mechanics, his development into a threat from the perimeter adds a dimension to his NBA potential.

Defensive Analysis

• Emerging as a real presence protecting the rim, Liddell’s improved ability to use verticality to contest shots and diligence trying to chase down plays moved the dial for the Buckeyes’ defense.  Pursuing shots with reckless abandon some nights, his explosiveness for his build stood out in spots.

• Rebounding the ball with physicality, showing some ability to switch on the perimeter, and holding his ground pretty steadily against opposing centers on the block, Liddell proved to be a well-rounded defender.  He lacks a degree of size for a power forward from an NBA perspective, but has the strength and athleticism to hold his own.

— Profile by Synergy Sports