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NBA Mock Draft: New Orleans Pelicans Select KZ Okpala from Stanford

SB Nation’s NBA Network conducted a mock draft with bloggers from each team site making their team’s picks. After a trade, with the 26th pick the Pelicans select KZ Okpala.

NCAA Basketball: California at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Mock Draft Pick #26 - KZ Okpala, Guard, Stanford

SB Nation’s New Orleans Pelicans blog The Bird Writes explains the pick:

Rated as the seventh-best small forward in the draft, Okpala had a breakout season for the Cardinals this season, averaging 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, earning a place on the All-PAC-12 First Team. A 6’9, 215 pound greyhound, he is as good an athlete as there is in this draft not named Zion Williamson. He excels in the open floor and as a finisher at the rim. Okpala has demonstrated the ability to create off the dribble and has an excellent first step. His off the ball movement has been lauded by scouts as well. With his height and length, combined with his athletic gifts, he has the potential to defend multiple positions as a pro.

It seems as if Okpala has only begun to scratch the surface of his potential. He improved his shooting from 39 percent as a freshman to better than 46 percent last season. He made an even bigger jump as an outside shooter, making 36.8 percent of his three point attempts after converting fewer than 23 percent his freshman year. He’ll need to continue to improve his strength, jump shot, and he has a ways to go on the defensive end, but Okpala is an incredibly enticing prospect, and could flourish in the Pelicans high speed attack.

These are the terms of the trade in our Blogger Mock Draft between the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New Orleans Pelicans:
Knicks receive: Anthony Davis
Cavaliers receive: 3rd Pick
Pelicans receive: 5th Pick, 26th pick, Dennis Smith Jr,. Kevin Knox, Dallas 2021 1st (unprotected), Dallas 2023 1st (1-10 protected).