Pelicans draft Zion Williamson with 2019 top pick

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The New Orleans Pelicans have a new face of the franchise. They selected Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Williamson will replace Anthony Davis, who will eventually be traded. The Pelicans will officially trade Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers on July 6th.

Draft prospect Zion Williamson poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans at the 2019 NBA Draft
Zion Williamson poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans at the 2019 NBA Draft (Getty Images)

The agreed upon deal would sent Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks to the Pelicans. New Orleans then drafted the No. 4 overall pick to the Atlanta Hawks for more draft assets.

In addition, the Pelicans also have the right to swap first-round picks with the Lakers during the 2023 NBA Draft. New Orleans received the Lakers first-round picks in 2019, 2021 (if in the top 8), 2022 (if not in the top 8 in 2021), and either a first-round pick in 2024 or 2025.

Those selections — along with Williamson — gives the Pelicans a bright young core for the future under Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin.

Williamson played one college season with the Duke Blue Devils. He is the third player to go No. 1 overall after playing for Duke, including Elton Brand and Kyrie Irving.

In his one-season with the team, the Spartanburg, South Carolina native made 33 appearances, including 33 starts. He averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks in 30 minutes per game.

Williamson is expected to be the team’s center. Ingram is projected to be the team’s power forward.

The team is also expected to start Ball at point guard, E’Twaun Moore at shooting guard, and Jrue Holiday at small forward.

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