14. New Orleans Pelicans take Kyle Filipowski
Filipowski was ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP as a freshman and a projected first-round pick before deciding to come back for his sophomore year at Duke. He had double hip surgery in the offseason, which likely played a factor in the decision and appears to have helped the 20-year-old on the defensive end of the floor.
Filipowski averaged 18.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.4 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game through his first five contests as a sophomore. He is shooting 57.6 percent from the field and 40.0 percent on his 3-point tires so far. The seven-footer can handle the ball a bit and has a solid stroke. He projects to be a stretch big in the NBA, and his defense will be the swing skill.
Filipowski was not much of a rim protector as a freshman and struggled mightily on the perimeter. Things have been better, but it is only a five-game sample. Can he prove he can protect the rim? Filipowski will always struggle on the perimeter, but offering some rebounding and shot-blocking is important to him staying on the floor.
The New Orleans Pelicans are searching for a new starting center as Jonas Valanciunas is in the final year of his contract. Kyle Filipowski has offensive upside and gives New Orleans another young talent to develop.