NEW ORLEANS — The Pelicans had quite a haul in the first round of the NBA Draft.
First, the no-brainer, was the selection of consensus top player, Zion Williamson, but they were far from finished.
With the eighth overall pick, they selected Jaxson Hayes from Texas. This is actually a guy who grew in college from 6’7” to nearly 7-feet, but was able to keep his athleticism. He’s the kind of guy that they’re hoping to fill the ‘5’ spot, that, of course, is absent now with Anthony Davis gone to the Lakers.
Hayes is a young prospect, who if he does pan out, you have some athleticism there and you can have a good starting five for years to come.
With the 17th pick, they were able to take Virginia Tech shooting guard, Nickeil Alexander-Walker. He’s a guy who can score on all three levels and a guy who could pair pretty well in the backcourt with Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball.
He’s a scorer and he’s a guy who can pass and he led Virginia Tech to the Sweet 16, where they ended up losing to Zion Williamson’s Duke Blue Devils. He’s a guy that can come in and contribute in the league also.
When you make the first round picks outside of the lottery picks, you project them to be really good, over time. You don’t know right away if they’ll pan out in the NBA, you have to give them time to see if they can adjust, but, the two other first round picks (not named Zion), you have to give them time to adjust to the NBA game, but these are two guys who can contribute to the Pels’ rebuild.