12. New Orleans Pelicans select Kyle Filipowski
Filipowski was a top-five prospect coming out of high school in 2022 and projected to be taken in the first round throughout last season before he decided to return to Duke for his sophomore campaign. The seven-footer won ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP in 2023 and plans on cementing his status as a lottery selection.
He averaged 15.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 29.1 minutes per game as a freshman. Filipowski took 124 3-pointers in 36 games but made just 28.2 percent. Improving his jumper is the biggest key to unlocking his offensive skill set. The 19-year-old must upgrade his handle, limit his turnovers, and improve his defense too.
The Blue Devils are projected to be one of the best teams in the NCAA with three potential lottery selections. Can Filipowski and Tyrese Proctor lead them on a deep tournament run? It will take being more consistent in year two, especially when the games matter most.
The New Orleans Pelicans have Jonas Valanciunas on an expiring contract and are searching for a long-term starter next to Zion Williamson. Kyle Filipowski could be an intriguing option with room to grow. If the Pels miss the playoffs, there could be massive changes in the Big Easy, so adding the best player available is likely the best option.