One scout weighs in on why E.J. Liddell slid in the NBA draft

·2 min read

If you followed the 2022 NBA draft this year, one of the Ohio State storylines was forward E.J. Liddell’s plight. He was forecast to be a first-round draft pick by almost every measure and mock draft out there.

However, as the picks went by and players continued to hear their name and walk across the stage, Liddell’s name did not appear pick after pick until the entire first round was gone, and then some. The 6-foot, 7-inch power forward with a polished game eventually got selected with the No. 41 overall pick in the second round by the New Orleans Pelicans, and we were all left wondering why.

Well, maybe we have an answer. According to one former scout, despite the varied game and experience Liddell has, he believes there was still reason for concern in some NBA scouts and executive circles. Michael VandeGarde gave Buckeyes Wire his take on why Liddell slipped thanks to our friends at Rutgers Wire.

“(He’s)Not a proven shooter and what is his real position for the NBA? (He) Lacks explosion and first step quickness…is really a power forward or undersized center, and can he really be that in the NBA?”

Look, we get it. Liddell is kind of in-between positions, but we’ve seen guys make that work before in the NBA right? I mean, all you have to do is another former Ohio State guy, Jae’Sean Tate as a player that wasn’t drafted because nobody felt like he fit into a neat little NBA-type box but has worked his way into a very, very productive player.

With the work ethic that Liddell has shown, and the skills and abilities he already possesses as a guy that has made himself into a defensive and offensive threat, don’t be surprised if he proves folks wrong again.

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Michael VandeGarde is a former NBA scout, having spent the past 18 seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. He is currently involved with the innovative digital platform CoachTube, a portal that offers sports coaching courses from legendary coaches in the NFL, NBA and college sports.