Pelicans get Jackson from Charlotte in draft deal

A person familiar with the situations says the New Orleans Pelicans have made a draft night trade to acquired former Duke guard Frank Jackson from the Charlotte Hornets. "People can expect me to be a fierce competitor and someone who can lead a team and get out and defend-play my game". Entering the night, the Pelicans had two picks in the second round - the 40th and 52nd overall picks. Once fellow freshmen Tatum and Giles returned from injuries in December, a scorching start for Jackson cooled-he scored in double figures only five times from Dec. 6 to February 22. I'm going to be the best player I can be. The 6-foot-4, 202-pounder is considered an "explosive and powerful leaper" by DraftExpress and helps round out the Pelicans roster, which is in need of a backcourt boost to add to the frontcourt core of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Overall he scored an above average 1.07 points per possession, and was the seventh most efficient scorer out of all high major conferences.

But Pelicans general manager Dell Demps said he's thought about Jackson for a while, scouting him at high school showcases in 2016 and seeing him in person five times while at Duke. "He does a good job of handling it, getting to the basket and getting to spots on the floor that a lot of point guards can't".

That paved the way for an explosive finish, however, as he averaged almost 15 points in the Blue Devils' last nine contests before ultimately deciding to jump to the National Basketball Association. Starting point guard Jrue Holiday is a free agent this summer, and if he elects to leave the Pelicans, Jackson could slide into a big role. "This has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I want to take it and run with it".

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"I have all the confidence in the world in myself", the Duke University product said, when asked about his decision to leave college after one season.

The Division II transfer is one of the best stories in this year's draft, going from virtual unknown to first-round choice.

  • Tabitha Byrd