Duke Blue Devils star Zion Williamson (C) waves to fans before the start of the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE
June 20 (UPI) -- The New Orleans Pelicans selected Duke Blue Devils star Zion Williamson with the top overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Williamson, who dominated at the college basketball level as a freshman, averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game last season. The forward was labeled a generational talent and was named the Wooden Award winner as the nation's top player.
After the Pelicans selected Williamson, the superstar forward was overcome with emotion.
"I don't know what to say. I didn't think I'd be in this position," Williamson said. "My mom sacrificed a lot for me. I wouldn't be here without my mom. She did everything for me and I just want to thank her. She put her dreams aside for mine. She always looked out for her family and friends before herself."
Williamson is expected to step in as the centerpiece for the Pelicans, who agreed to trade star big man Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers last week. New Orleans will receive guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, forward Brandon Ingram, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft and multiple future first-round selections.
Before the draft, the Pelicans agreed to trade that No. 4 choice, along with Solomon Hill, the No. 57 pick and a future second-round pick, to the Atlanta Hawks for the Nos. 8, 17 and 35 picks, according to ESPN. The Hawks drafted Virginia guard De'Andre Hunter with the fourth pick.
With the second pick, the Memphis Grizzlies drafted Murray State point guard Ja Morant, who is expected to become the franchise's next leader after the departure of veteran guard Mike Conley. The Grizzlies agreed to trade Conley to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
Duke forward RJ Barrett went to the New York Knicks with the No. 3 overall pick. The Cleveland Cavaliers held on to the fifth selection and drafted Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland.
Oregon Center Bol Bol, a projected first-round pick, fell all the way to No. 44 overall. The Miami Heat promptly traded his rights to the Denver Nuggets.
Here is the pick-by-pick results from the 2019 NBA Draft:
1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, SF, Duke
4. Los Angeles Lakers (to be traded to Atlanta Hawks via New Orleans Pelicans): De'Andre Hunter, G/F, Virginia
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
6. Phoenix Suns (to be traded to Minnesota Timberwolves): Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech
7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, PG, North Carolina
8. Atlanta Hawks (to be traded to New Orleans Pelicans): Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
9. Washington Wizards: Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks): Cam Reddish, F, Duke
11. Minnesota Timberwolves (to be traded to Phoenix Suns): Cameron Johnson, F, North Carolina
12. Charlotte Hornets: PJ Washington, F, Kentucky
13. Miami Heat: Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
14. Boston Celtics (via Philadelphia 76ers): Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
15. Detroit Pistons: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
16. Orlando Magic: Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn
17. Brooklyn Nets (to be traded to New Orleans Pelicans via Atlanta Hawks): Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
18. Indiana Pacers: Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia
19. San Antonio Spurs: Luka Samanic, F, Croatia
20. Boston Celtics (to be traded to Philadelphia 76ers via Memphis Grizzlies): Matisse Thybulle, F, Washington
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (to be traded to Memphis Grizzlies): Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
22. Boston Celtics: Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
23. Utah Jazz (to be traded to Oklahoma City Thunder via Memphis Grizzlies): Darius Bazley, F, USA
24. Philadelphia 76ers (to be traded to Phoenix Suns via Boston Celtics): Ty Jerome, G, Virginia
25. Portland Trail Blazers: Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets): Dylan Windler, F, Belmont
27. Brooklyn Nets (to be traded to Los Angeles Clippers via Denver Nuggets): Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State
28. Golden State Warriors: Jordan Poole, G, Michigan
29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors): Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky
30. Milwaukee Bucks (to be traded to Cleveland Cavaliers via Detroit Pistons): Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC
31. Brooklyn Nets (via New York Knicks): Nic Claxton, center, Georgia
32. Phoenix Suns (to be traded to Miami Heat via Indiana Pacers): KZ Okpala, F, Stanford
33. Philadelphia 76ers (to be traded to Boston Celtics via Cleveland Cavaliers): Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue
34. Philadelphia 76ers (to be traded to Atlanta Hawks via Chicago Bulls): Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
35. Atlanta Hawks (to be traded to New Orleans Pelicans): Marco Louzada Silva, F, Brazil
36. Charlotte Hornets (via Washington Wizards): Cody Martin, F, Nevada
37. Dallas Mavericks (to be traded to Detroit Pistons): Deividas Sirvydis, F, Lithuania
38. Chicago Bulls (via Memphis Grizzlies): Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
39. New Orleans Pelicans (to be traded to Golden State Warriors): Alen Smailagić, C, Serbia/Santa Cruz Warriors
40. Sacramento Kings (via Minnesota Timberwolves): Justin James, F, Wyoming
41. Atlanta Hawks (to be traded to Golden State Warriors via Los Angeles Lakers): Eric Paschall, F, Villanova
42. Philadelphia 76ers (to be traded to Washington Wizards via Sacramento Kings): Admiral Schofield, F, Tennessee
43. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Miami Heat): Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington
44. Miami Heat (to be traded to Denver Nuggets via Atlanta Hawks): Bol Bol, C, Oregon
45. Detroit Pistons (to be traded to Dallas Mavericks): Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska
46. Orlando Magic (to be traded to Los Angeles Lakers via Brooklyn Nets): Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State
47. Sacramento Kings (to be traded to New York Knicks via Orlando Magic): Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan
48. Los Angeles Clippers: Terrence Mann, F, Florida State
49. San Antonio Spurs: Quinndary Weatherspoon, G, Mississippi State
50. Indiana Pacers (to be traded to Utah Jazz): Jarrell Brantley, F, University of Charleston
51. Boston Celtics: Tremont Waters, G, LSU
52. Charlotte Hornets (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State
53. Utah Jazz: Justin Wright-Foreman, G, Hofstra
54. Philadelphia 76ers: Marial Shayok, F, Iowa State
55. New York Knicks (to be traded to Sacramento Kings via Houston Rockets): Kyle Guy, G, Virginia
56. Los Angeles Clippers (to be traded to Brooklyn Nets via Portland Trail Blazers): Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA
57. New Orleans Pelicans (to be traded to Detroit Pistons via Atlanta Hawks): Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee
58. Golden State Warriors (to be traded to Utah Jazz): Miye Oni, F, Yale
59. Toronto Raptors: Dewan Hernandez, C, University of Miami
60. Sacramento Kings (via Milwaukee Bucks): Vanja Marinković, G, Serbia