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2022 NBA Draft: New Orleans Pelicans select EJ Liddell, Ohio State forward

NS_headshot_clearbackgroundby:Nick Schultz06/23/22


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(Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

Ohio State forward EJ Liddell is off the board in the 2022 NBA Draft. With the No. 41 pick in the second round, Liddell was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Liddell was a force for the Buckeyes the last few years but had a career year in 2021-22. He averaged 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.5 assist per game — all career-highs. He also shot 49% from the field and 37.4% from three-point territory to help lead Ohio State to a 20-12 overall record and a 12-8 record in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament after defeating Loyola Chicago in the first round.

Out of high school, Liddell was a four-star recruit, the No. 31 player in the nation and the No. 1 prospect in the state of Illinois from the class of 2019, according to the On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.

What NBA Draft analysts are saying about EJ Liddell

ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz shared his assessment of Liddell in March, acknowledging the improved numbers but mentioning questions scouts might have about how his game will translate to the NBA.

“Scouts still have questions about Liddell’s long-term upside as he stands no taller than 6-foot-7 with average positional length, a flat jumper that might take time to adjust to the NBA line and a somewhat power-reliant game,” Schmitz said. “Can Liddell score efficiently against NBA-caliber rim protectors? If not, is he a skilled enough shooter, passer and ball handler to be an asset on the perimeter?

“Does Liddell project as more of an energy guy or is he the next collegiate winner who scouts will overlook because of his less-than-stellar measurables, underrating his incredible intangibles, productivity, basketball IQ and toughness?”