E.J. Liddell Draft Scouting Report: Pro Comparison, Updated Pelicans Roster

Adam WellsJune 24, 2022

Ohio State 's E.J. Liddell (32) plays during the second half of a college basketball game Loyola Chicago in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Pittsburgh, Friday, March 18, 2022. Ohio State won 54-41. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

After back-to-back All-Big Ten first-team selections, Ohio State star E.J. Liddell will begin his NBA career with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans selected Liddell with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft on Thursday.

Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report

Player: E.J. Liddell

Position: PF

Height: 6'6"

Pro Comparison: P.J. Washington

Scouting Report: Liddell became a more believable NBA prospect by improving his shooting and defense. His game still doesn't scream upside, but there should be a role for a physical forward who can create from the post, stretch the floor and block shots around the key.

E.J. Liddell (rookie scale contract)

Dyson Daniels, PG/SG (rookie scale contract)

C.J. McCollum, SG: $33.3M (2024)

Brandon Ingram, SF: $31.7M (2025)

Jonas Valanciunas, C: $15.1M (2024)

Devonte' Graham, PG: $11.8M (2025)

Larry Nance Jr., PF: $11.2M (2023)

Zion Williamson, PF: $11.1M (2023)

Jaxson Hayes, C: $5.5M (2023)

Garrett Temple, SG: $5.2M (2024)

Kira Lewis Jr., PG: $4.3M (2024)

Trey Murphy III, SG: $3.7M (2025)

Willy Hernangomez, C: $2.4M (2024)

Herbert Jones, SF: $1.8M (2024)

Jose Alvarado, PG: $1.7M (2025)

Naji Marshall, SF: $1.1M (2024)

Tony Snell, SG: UFA

Jared Harper, PG: RFA

Gary Clark, PF: UFA

Liddell originally put his name in for the 2021 draft but elected not to hire an agent to maintain his college eligibility. The 21-year-old chose to return to Ohio State for his junior season.

Things worked out well for Liddell and the Buckeyes. He led the team in scoring average (19.4 points per game) and rebounds (7.9) and ranked second in assists (2.5). His success rate on three-pointers jumped from 33.8 percent on 2.8 attempts in 2020-21 to 37.4 percent on 3.8 attempts in 2021-22.

The Buckeyes made the NCAA tournament as a No. 7 seed in the South Region. They defeated Loyola University Chicago in the round of 64 before falling to Villanova in the second round.

Liddell's size and improved scoring ability make him an intriguing NBA prospect, especially at this stage of the draft. He has the ability to be an impactful three-and-D player on a playoff team at his best.

The Pelicans will take advantage of Liddell's unique skill set in their quest to make a postseason push in 2022-23.