2023 Mock Draft 2.0: Spurs roll the dice, Hornets win Wembanyama sweepstakes

Brandon Miller - San Diego State v Alabama
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69. . Arkansas. Anthony Black. 14. player. .

The New Orleans Pelicans are in a strange place at the moment, with Zion Williamson having near-constant injury issues that tend to keep him sidelined for long stretches of time. This is right around the point in the draft where trades could become a bigger possibility and I wouldn’t completely rule out that possibility for the Pelicans specifically, who could afford to get another player that could help in a playoff run sooner rather than later.

If the Pelicans do keep this pick, however, I expect them to try and find a player that could be seen as an immediate roster upgrade. And as big of a Dyson Daniels fan as I am, I think Anthony Black could be a near-immediate upgrade coming off the bench and stylistically plays a very similar game to Daniels. 

While I expect a few other players to be in consideration at 14th overall—namely Bilal Coulibaly, Keyonte George, and Brice Sensabaugh—I think the Pelicans would value Black’s combination of immediate defensive upside, playmaking ability, and positional size a bit more than the other names here. I don’t particularly love any player for the Pelicans this late in the lottery, which is why I consider a trade to be a strong possibility here, but if the draft were to shake out like this, going with the best player available is likely the team’s next-best option.