Williamson leads parade of ACC picks in NBA draft


Zion Williamson is coming to New Orleans.
The Pelicans have taken the Duke freshman forward with the first overall pick in tonight’s NBA Draft. Williamson became the third freshman to be voted player of the year by The Associated Press, averaging 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 68% from the field for the Blue Devils last season.
Williamson is the likely replacement for All-Star forward Anthony Davis, who was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers last week.
The Grizzlies have wasted no time replacing veteran point guard Mike Conley by selecting Murray State sophomore Ja Morant with the second overall selection. Morant was seventh among Division I scorers last season, averaging 24.5 points while also handing out 10 assists and grabbing 5.7 rebounds.
RJ Barrett became the second Duke frosh to be chosen when the Knicks grabbed the swingman with the third pick. Barrett led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring at 22.8 points per game despite somewhat being overshadowed by Williamson.
The Hawks moved up to the fourth choice and came away with Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter. The selection was technically made by the Lakers as part of the Davis trade, but Hunter will wind up with the Hawks after Atlanta completed a deal with the Pelicans just before the start of the draft.
The Hawks are sending the draft rights to the eighth, 17th and 35th overall picks to the Pelicans, along with a protected first-round pick from Cleveland in 2020 that Atlanta had. The eighth choice was used to select Texas center Jaxson Hayes.
The Cavaliers used the No. 5 pick on Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, who played in just five games last season because of a knee injury. Garland suffered torn meniscus in his left knee during a Nov. 23 game and underwent surgery before electing to miss the rest of his freshman season to prepare for the draft.
Phoenix used the sixth pick to take Texas Tech forward Jarrett Culver, who will actually play for the Timberwolves following a draft day swap. North Carolina guard Coby White was selected seventh by the Bulls.
After Hayes was chosen eighth, the Wizards grabbed Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura and the Hawks chose Duke forward Cam Reddish with the 10th pick.

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