METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — The New Orleans Pelicans continue to prepare for the 2022 NBA 2k23 Summer League series tipoff in Las Vegas on July 7 with another week of practice at the team’s practice facility along Airline Drive in Metairie, La., on Tuesday morning.
The Pels opened up practice to the media briefly, and made second-round (41st pick) selection E.J. Liddell, undrafted free agent John Butler and coach Jarron Collins available for chat following workouts.
Media asked Liddell about the Pels history of giving second-round picks and undrafted free agents a fair shake in making the most of an opportunity with the team.
“Yeah, I mean all these guys play with a chip on their shoulder, as well as me,” said Liddell. “So, I feel like I fit in great with just the mentality I have on this team.”
Undrafted seven-foot-1 forward from Florida State John Butler admitted to feeling slighted by not being drafted last month, but that he is his sights set on doing the work needed to prove he belongs at the next level.
“It is what it is,” he told WGNO Sports. “I use it as motivation. It definitely hurt that night. I was expecting to get drafted, but I’m just going to keep moving with my 10 toes forward and my head down just working hard.”
One player, first-rounder Dyson Daniels, who was the eighth overall selection out of the G-League’s Ignite, continues to impress. Pels assistant and summer team head coach Jarron Collins talked about the 19-year-old Australian’s playability.
“He’s brought so much versatility for us,” Coach Collins told media. “We can use him in a multitude of ways, quite frankly – as a primary handler, secondary handler. At the end of the day, he’s a basketball player, so he makes the next best play, whatever that is. He plays at his own pace. He plays under control for the most part. So after a week of practice… it’s time to see him against other competition because he is looking really good against our guys.”