Texas center Jericho Sims posts up against Texas-Arlington

Texas center a common projection in Round 2 mock drafts for New Orleans

Pelicans Draft 2021 presented by HUB
by Jim Eichenhofer

With four second-round picks in their possession entering next week’s NBA draft (July 29, 7 p.m. Central, ESPN), the combinations and possibilities are endless in terms of what the New Orleans Pelicans might do with those selections, including trade options. Ten days from draft night, here are the latest projections from national mock drafts for New Orleans, which has a total of five picks on the board, beginning with its lottery pick at No. 10. All comments are provided by the respective websites:


10, Franz Wagner, Michigan forward

If the New Orleans Pelicans keep the pick at No. 10, what about grabbing Franz Wagner? There’s some buzz about him being a top 10 pick, and one of the more highly coveted prospects in the draft. He’s a smart defender who plays hellish off-ball defense. On offense, he’s a guy many believe will be a good outside shooter at the NBA level. His 3-point shooting wasn’t very good in college, but he’s a very good free throw shooter, so that shot should probably be on its way. For the Pelicans, he would fit a need on both ends of the floor.”

35, Day’Ron Sharpe, North Carolina center

“Day’Ron Sharpe probably isn’t a first-round center like some have projected him to be, but he’s a massive guy who should be a solid backup five in the NBA.”

40, Brandon Boston Jr., Kentucky guard/forward

“A decent gamble for the Pelicans at this point with Brandon Boston Jr., and you just hope the limitations we saw were simply clamps from Kentucky coach John Calipari.”

43, Jericho Sims, Texas center

“David Griffin loves him some athleticism and trying to harness the insane jumping ability of Jericho Sims could be a lot of fun.”

53, Filip Petrusev, Serbia forward

“Big man stash option for the Pelicans late in the second round, and maybe he’ll head over someday.”


10, Keon Johnson, Tennessee forward

“Keon Johnson had teams talking after his 48-inch max vertical at the NBA combine. Athletic ability and motor set him apart. The New Orleans Pelicans should be drawn to his defense first, though drafting him top 10 means accepting a limited creator and shooter early on.”

35, Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga guard

“Ayayi has been quiet this month, having skipped the NBA combine. His camp remains confident in his draft range, though while Ayayi chose not to show up in Chicago, others helped themselves. There is still a decent chance he goes early second round to a team that sees him thriving in the same combo/supporting role he did for Gonzaga.”

40, Joe Wieskamp, Iowa forward

“After the combine, Wieskamp made scouts go back and rewatch film of his spectacular shooting season that many overlooked. Some believe he’s now an early second-round option and value pick, given his 6-7 size in shoes, 6-11 wingspan, 42-inch max vertical and 46.2 percent three-ball.”

43, Marcus Bagley, Arizona State forward (no comment from site)

53, Jericho Sims, Texas center

“Left off our mock draft boards all season, Sims capitalized on his NBA combine invite with a 44 1/2-inch max vertical and plenty of finishing activity during scrimmages. It wouldn’t be shocking if he swayed a team in the 50s to bet on his strength, athleticism and motor for picking up easy baskets.”


10, Josh Giddey, Australia guard/forward

“On paper, the Pelicans need to continue to add shooting to maximize the playmaking and slashing ability of Zion Williamson. In reality, the last thing the team needs is another rookie, and the No. 10 pick is believed to be one of the most available of any in the lottery, simply due to the team’s expedited timeline. Giddey has a number of fans around the NBA, is getting looks much higher than this slot and could be a definite target for a team looking to move up in the draft.”

35, Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky center

40, David Johnson, Louisville guard

43, Jason Preston, Ohio guard

53, Greg Brown, Texas forward


10, Franz Wagner, Michigan forward

"Stretch 4 set to stretch the floor if he can extend range consistently beyond the arc; can slot within multiple offenses alongside strong creators.”


10, Josh Giddey, Australia guard/forward

“The Pels would be a great landing spot for Giddey who would bring his other-worldly passing to the young, talented roster. The 6-8 Australian guard led the NBL in assists, at just 18 years of age, and has an advanced feel for finding the open shot.”

35, Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois guard

“A big and talented lead guard with great handles and creative shot-making ability. Can play on or off the ball.”

40, Aaron Henry, Michigan State guard

“An NBA level athlete and standout defender who needs to continue to develop his handles and outside shot.”

43, Neemias Queta, Utah State center

“An intriguing long term prospect who is a high level rebounder and shot blocker with a NBA size.”

53, Jericho Sims, Texas center

“A rebounder and interior defender who has big-time bounce, strength and athleticism.”

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