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Plenty of recent changes in mock-draft predictions for Pelicans at No. 8

It’s been more than two months since the NCAA men’s basketball season ended in April. Many of the potential 2022 first-round draft picks did not compete at the combine in May. Still, despite that relative inactivity, there have been widespread changes on numerous NBA mock drafts in June, with Internet sites updating their projections on how they believe the draft will play out Thursday (7 p.m. Central, ABC, ESPN).

New Orleans’ pick at No. 8 overall is a perfect illustration of the kind of movement that’s been taking place in the minds of draft analysts lately. Among 11 different websites surveyed by Pelicans.com, all but one has altered their projection for what New Orleans will do with its lottery pick since we checked in with each media entity May 23.

Here are the players currently projected to go eighth overall by the respective sites, as well as their prediction from four weeks ago. All quoted comments are from the sites themselves:

The Athletic: Ousmane Dieng, France forward

“This is considered the start of Dieng’s range, and I’d expect him to go somewhere in the lottery. A 6-foot-9 forward with real passing and playmaking ability as well as some defensive tools, Dieng fits the versatile, positionally flexible archetype that the Pelicans have valued in recent years.”

Late-May projection: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona guard

Basketball News: Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky guard

“Shaedon Sharpe is one of the most talented players in the class. He is a tremendous athlete with positional size and a skill set that should allow him to excel at the NBA level.”

Late-May projection: AJ Griffin, Duke forward

Bleacher Report: Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky guard

“If a surprise name can shake up the top four, we’re hearing it is Sharpe. There is some buzz about a team in the top four showing extra interest, though it is difficult to picture him going that high, considering general managers are evaluating Sharpe on 2021 AAU tape and workouts.”

Late-May projection: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona guard

CBSSports.com: AJ Griffin, Duke forward

“New Orleans rated as the 27th-best team in the NBA in team 3-point shooting percentage last season. In Griffin they add one of the best wing shooters in the draft who has legitimate star potential if he’s able to find his old high school form and stay healthy.”

Late-May projection: Ochai Agbaji, Kansas guard

ESPN.com: Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky guard

“The Pelicans have less of a major need at any particular position than other lottery teams. New Orleans has four surefire starters in the fold and a plethora of young talent at every position that gives it tremendous depth and role players to plug virtually any hole. Drafting Sharpe and allowing him to come along slowly would make plenty of sense.”

Late-May projection: AJ Griffin, Duke forward

NBA.com (consensus): Dyson Daniels, Australia guard

“Australian playmaker who — like fellow countryman Josh Giddey — is an above-average passer with court vision and desire to facilitate for teammates; lockdown defender at the other end.”

Late-May projection: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona guard

NBADraft.net: Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky guard

“An elite run/jump athlete with very good strength to play through contact and play physical.”

Late-May projection: Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky guard

The Ringer: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona guard

“Knockdown shooter with shot-making ability off the dribble, though he needs work as a passer and defender.”

Late-May projection: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin guard

SB Nation: Dyson Daniels, Australia guard

“A 6’8 guard with a 6’11 wingspan, Daniels has the potential to be a lockdown defender who can smother smaller guards with his quick feet and agility. New Orleans could use another high-level defender in the lineup with Zion Williamson set to return, and Daniels showed enough offensive improvement in the second half of the season as a playmaker and spot-up shooter to warrant this pick.”

Late-May projection: Keegan Murray, Iowa forward

USA Today/FTW: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona guard

“After doing well for themselves by adding three solid rookies (Herbert Jones, Trey Murphy, Jose Alvarado) last season, the Pelicans can add some more help on the perimeter by selecting Arizona star Bennedict Mathurin. The standout sophomore, a promising product of the NBA Academy system, can help space the floor for the return of Zion Williamson.”

Late-May projection: Jeremy Sochan, Baylor forward

Yahoo! Sports: Dyson Daniels, Australia guard

“The Australian native grew two inches from the start of the G League season and is now close to 6-foot-8 in shoes. His height and high basketball IQ make him an intriguing prospect if he falls to No. 8 in the draft. The Pelicans could use a guard like Daniels with his length and plug him in right away next to CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram.”

Late-May projection: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin guard