Pelicans’ Willie Green on Jordan Hawkins: ‘He is earning more and more minutes’

Willie Green has praised Jordan Hawkins for his overall ability on the court, and the New Orleans Pelicans coach believes the rookie has improved in the early going.

The 14th pick is coming off his first start of the season on Monday. In 35 minutes, Hawkins recorded 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals on 6-of-13 shooting from the field in a loss to the Golden State Warriors.

The Pelicans turned to Hawkins in that contest, with Brandon Ingram nursing a knee injury. He found out just before tip off that he’d be starting, and impressed Green in that role.

He was a bright spot. (We) threw him in the lineup kind of last minute, and he has always been ready to play. He was like that all of preseason. He has definitely taken some strides defensively, and he is earning more and more minutes.

Hawkins continues to flash his ability to shoot and lets it fly when he is open. He was viewed as perhaps the top shooter in the NBA draft this year and has a release that enables him to pull up quickly. He can also convert it on the move.

The team has welcomed the addition of Hawkins. He is a proven winner after leading UConn to the championship last season and has fit into the system well thus far, Green said.

Jordan is extremely valuable in the sense that he is a high-character guy. He comes in, gets his work in. Even before he got to us, he was a champion. It takes a lot to win a championship at any level. He has experience, so even more than shooting, he knows how to play. He knows when to get his shot up, when to shot-fake, drive, find teammates, etc.

Whether Hawkins is starting or coming off the bench, the Pelicans know exactly what the 21-year-old can bring to the court. He should be able to contribute at a high level this year, as a result.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire