NBA DRAFT BLOG: Pelicans take Zion Williamson with No. 1 pick

A basketball marks a table for NBA Draft prospect Zion Williamson, of Duke, before the start of the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Thursday's NBA draft (all times local):

12:26 a.m.

Lawrence Central grad Kyle Guy was taken with the 55th pick of the NBA Draft by the New York Knicks.

Guy was a McDonald's All-American for the Bears before helping lead Virginia to the national championship in April.


12:10 a.m.

The Indiana Pacers finished the NBA Draft making just one selection.

The Pacers traded the 50th pick of the draft to Utah moments after trading the 32nd pick, which they had acquired earlier in the day from Phoenix, to Miami.


11:15 p.m.

Carsen Edwards is the latest player with Indiana ties headed to Boston.

The Philadelphia 76ers selected the Purdue guard with the 33rd pick of the NBA Draft Thursday with a pick that is part of a proposed trade with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics had already selected Indiana University standout Romeo Langford in the first round of the draft.

The pair will join head coach Brad Stevens, a Zionsville native who led Butler University to back-to-back national championship games in 2010-11, and Brownsburg and Butler alum Gordon Hayward.


11:10 p.m.

The Indiana Pacers held the 32nd pick of the NBA Draft for about five hours.

The Pacers reportedly traded cash to Phoenix in exchange for the pick and forward T.J. Warren Thursday afternoon. By the time the second round pick came down in New York City, it had been flipped to the Miami Heat for three future second rounders.

The Pacers are still slated to pick 50th in Thursday night's draft.


11 p.m.

The first round of the NBA draft is complete.

Milwaukee selected USC guard Kevin Porter Jr. with the 30th and final pick of the first round. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that 7-foot-2 freshman Bol Bol from Oregon is still sitting in the green room after an unexpected slide into the second round.

Bol offers an intriguing skillset with his rangy game and 7-7 wingspan.

Georgia sophomore big man Nicolas Claxton was also still waiting to hear his name called in the green room. He didn't wait long, he was taken with the first pick in the second round by the Brooklyn Nets.

North Carolina freshman Nassir Little had an unexpectedly long slide, landing at No. 25 to Portland after being considered a possible lottery pick.


9:50 p.m.

There is finally some some international flavor in this year's NBA draft.

International prospects Sekou Doumbouya, Goga Bitadze and Luka Samanic all went in the middle of the first round.

The 18-year-old Doumbouya is a 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward who was picked at No. 15 by Detroit after playing last season in France's top pro league. The 19-year-old Bitadze went at No. 18, bringing a 6-11, 250-pound frame to the Indiana Pacers after spending last season in the EuroLeague.

The 19-year-old Samanic went off the board at No. 19 to San Antonio. He's a 6-10 Croatian forward who played in Slovenia last season.

There's also a Canadian influence, too — which should come as no surprise considering the Toronto Raptors just won the franchise's first NBA championship last week.

Duke's RJ Barrett went third overall and is a native of Mississauga, Ontario. He was joined by Virginia Tech guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, a Toronto native who was picked 17th.


9:30 p.m.

The Indiana Pacers selected center Goga Bitadze with the 18th pick of the NBA Draft.

Bitadze, 19, is a 6'11" center from Europe who most recently played in Serbia.

The Pacers also hold the 32nd pick through a proposed trade with the Phoenix Suns that was reported Thursday afternoon, as well as their own second round pick, the 50th pick of the draft.


9:15 p.m.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is already having a big night in the NBA draft, even though it's only halfway through the first round.

The league had a record six players go in the lottery section of the first 14 picks. Meanwhile, Duke joined Florida in 2007 as the only programs with three top-10 picks in the same year after Zion Williamson went No. 1 to the New Orleans Pelicans, RJ Barrett third to the New York Knicks and Cam Reddish 10th to Atlanta.

De'Andre Hunter of NCAA champion Virginia is headed to Atlanta as the fourth overall pick. Then North Carolina had two early picks in point guard Coby White going seventh to Chicago and Cameron Johnson being a surprise selection at No. 11 to Phoenix — which had traded down in a deal with Minnesota.


9:08 p.m.

The Boston Celtics selected Romeo Langford from Indiana University with the 14th pick in the NBA Draft Thursday.


8:40 p.m.

The early trades in the NBA draft mean several players are donning hats just for show — and they know it.

Because many trades can't become official for salary-cap purposes until July 6, Virginia's De'Andre Hunter wore a Los Angeles Lakers hat when he was picked fourth overall. The Lakers made the selection for Atlanta after the Hawks acquired the rights to the pick in a deal with New Orleans Pelicans, who had got the rights to the Lakers' pick in the Anthony Davis trade.

Then at sixth, Phoenix selected Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver on Minnesota's behalf after the Timberwolves made a deal with the Suns to move up five spots. Culver wore a Suns hat as he took the stage, while the Timberwolves will make the 11th pick for the Suns later in the evening.


7:55 p.m.

Minnesota now has the sixth pick in the NBA draft.

A person with knowledge says the Timberwolves have traded up five slots in the first round by sending power forward Dario Saric and the No. 11 overall selection to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the No. 6 pick.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot become official for salary-cap purposes until July 6, which means the Suns will still make the sixth pick for the Timberwolves.

ESPN first reported the trade. Saric's agent, Misko Raznatovic, confirmed on Twitter that his client was headed to the Suns.

The Timberwolves have a new president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas, the former Houston Rockets assistant general manager who's running a draft for the first time.

— AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis


7:47 p.m.

The New Orleans Pelicans have selected Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick, going with the Duke force who is considered one of the most exciting prospects in years.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pounder compiled a career worth of highlights into just one season, becoming the third freshman to be voted player of the year by The Associated Press.

His assault on the rims made him a favorite of college basketball fans, but his game is more than just dunks. Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 68% from the field.

Wearing a white suit, he hugged members of his family and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after his name was called first Thursday night at Barclays Center.

Williamson will step into an open position in New Orleans, which recently agreed to trade All-Star Anthony Davis, the last freshman to win the AP award.


7:40 p.m.

The Grizzlies own the second pick, a coveted selection in this year's NBA draft.

But some Memphis fans still aren't ready to let go of the past on draft night.

A few Mike Conley jerseys and one for Marc Gasol are visible among the early arriving fans for the Grizzlies' draft party. Both of the longtime Memphis players are gone, with Gasol winning an NBA title with Toronto. Conley was dealt this week to Utah in a deal that won't be official until July 6 when the new league year begins.

But some were looking forward to what's next, including 17-year-old fan Ben Taylor from Huntingdon, Tennessee.

He had a T-shirt with Memphis lettering and Murray State's Ja Morant's name and No. 12 on the back thanks to a little craftwork by his mother and iron-on decals. Taylor said he wasn't worried the Grizzlies would take someone other than Morant, saying he was "that confident" he'd be right.


6:30 p.m.

The Hawks now have the fourth pick in the NBA draft.

A person familiar with deal says Atlanta has acquired the pick from the Pelicans. New Orleans had acquired the rights to the fourth pick in the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. In the deal the Hawks, the Pelicans will get the No. 8, No. 17 and No. 35 overall picks, along with a protected first-round pick from Cleveland in 2020 that Atlanta had.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal can't be finalized until at least until July 6 when the Davis trade can be finalized. That means the Lakers will be making the pick for the Hawks via the Pelicans.

In addition to the fourth pick, the Hawks are getting the No. 57 pick, a future second-round pick and forward Solomon Hill from New Orleans.

— AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans


2:20 a.m.

The NBA draft is all about Zion Williamson.

The draft begins Thursday night with the Duke freshman projected to go first overall to the New Orleans Pelicans. The 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward was the biggest star the college level has seen in years, filling highlight reels with thunderous dunks and incomparable athleticism while becoming The Associated Press national player of the year.

Murray State point guard Ja Morant and Duke high-scoring freshman forward RJ Barrett are projected to follow Williamson in the top three picks, with the uncertainty starting with the No. 4 pick.

Other top lottery prospects include guards Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech and Cam Reddish of Duke; point guards Darius Garland of Vanderbilt and Coby White of North Carolina; and forward De'Andre Hunter from NCAA champion Virginia.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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