It was a busy night for the Pelicans at the NBA Draft, as the night may have begun by taking Duke’s Zion Williamson first overall, but it didn’t end there.
The Pelicans took two more young prospects in the first round with picks they garnered earlier in the day by sending the fourth overall selection to the Atlanta Hawks.
Part of the Pelicans’ return in that deal included picks 8 and 17 of the first round, and they bolstered the youth on their roster further with another pair of college stars.
At #8 overall, the Pelicans chose Texas center Jaxson Hayes. Hayes stands either 6’11” or an even 7 feet depending on who you ask. In his one season with the Longhorns, he averaged 10 points, five rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting over 72% from the field.
ESPN’s Chauncey Billups compared Hayes to former New Orleans Hornet Tyson Chandler.
With the 17th pick, the Pelicans took shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Virginia Tech. Alexander-Walker played two seasons for the Hokies, upping his scoring average in his sophomore season from 10.7 to 16.2 points per game. He also averaged 4 assists and 1.9 steals.