Zion Williamson is officially the #1 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft to the New Orleans Pelicans and will be the face of the franchise in the Big Easy. While the pick wasn’t hard to figure out, the emotion that came in the interview following it shows what we all love so much about Zion. When Maria Taylor (ESPN) asked Zion what his mother meant to him on his journey to the highest level of basketball, he broke down. Believe me, I cried too. Zion is everything we love about his game. We’re going to miss him in Durham but he’ll always be a member of the Brotherhood. From the Bull City to the Big Easy, y’all are getting a very, very special player and young man. Bleed blue.
It’s a bittersweet day for Duke fans– we see our players pursue their dreams in the NBA, but in doing so, they leave us. However, the amazing thing about this program is that they are all bound together by Coach K; they’ll never really leave because they’ll always be part of The Brotherhood.
But what do we expect? There’s the given. Unless all of a sudden, the entire Pelicans front office has lost their minds, Zion Williamson is headed south to the Big Easy in the state of Louisiana. This is especially evident considering that they just traded their franchise player, Anthony Davis. They need a franchise player to get them back on track and there’s nobody better to do that than Zion Williamson. Not only is he a generational talent (no, he is not just an athlete), he’s an ambassador for the game of basketball. He brings energy and enthusiasm to the locker room. He’s got an infectious smile and he always credits his teammates. He could have the biggest ego on earth for all the attention he’s gotten it, and even yet Zion is down-to-earth and humble. He gives credit to his teammates. Zion is every coach’s dream player.
Next, there’s RJ Barrett. He’s a shooting guard with a ton of potential; he’s long and athletic and the kind of things that he can do around the rim are incredible. He needs a more consistent shot from deep but everything is there for him to become a very successful player at the next level. His midrange jumper is absolutely lethal and once you give him the left hand, it’s over. As for his draft spot, the #2 spot looks to go to Ja Morant of Murray State, but New York and RJ have found a match at the #3 spot. It is just about certain that the Knicks will select him, and he’s the star that they direly need.
Cam Reddish and Marques Bolden are the question marks. Cam Reddish had high and low points, and Marques wasn’t expected to go at all. We’re thinking lottery for Cam and late first round for ‘Ques. CamFam is projected at #8.
7pm on ESPN. The beginning of the era of Zion. Bleed blue.
Grayson Allen, the Duke legend and Utah Jazz draftee of a year ago coming up, as part of the package sent to Memphis for Mike Conley, will suit up next season as a Memphis Grizzly alongside teammates Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver, who were also given up by Utah. Grayson was drafted a year ago by the Utah Jazz and was sent to their G-League affiliate at a few instances, but we all know how valuable of a player he is as a shooter and a leader on the court. He could really break out this year, especially after the experience he got with the Salt Lake City Stars.
Grayson will have a lot of young talent like himself around him: as much as we would absolutely love an RJ Barrett-Grayson Allen pairing, all signs point to the Grizzlies selecting Ja Morant from Murray State with the #2 pick in this years draft (assuming that the Pelicans’ front office haven’t lost their minds, or, in other words, pick somebody other than Zion with the top pick). Morant is a talented point guard who can handle the ball himself but more importantly distribute it extremely well. Having a shooter like Grayson paired with Morant will be dangerous for any opposition. Additionally, defenders will be drawn to the inside with Jaren Jackson Jr, last year’s fourth pick and power forward. Jackson has a lot of potential– some of which has already shone through, as he was selected to the All-Rookie team. This leaves space for Grayson to go to work. It’s going to be a fun season out in Tennessee.
The other side of this trade is Mike Conley, who’d essentially been the Memphis face until now. He is the only player that the Grizzlies gave for this trade.
Mike Krzyzewski may have had one of the most successful coaching careers in the history of basketball, but if you asked him, he’d probably say his greatest accomplishment is his family. He and his wife, Mrs. Mickie Krzyzewski, have three daughters, all of which now have children of their own (and one grandchild is walking on at Duke next year!).
Today is their 50th wedding anniversary, so congratulations to them! They’ve given so much to us as fans and having met them both, I can hardly think of two more wonderful people. On behalf of the Duke Basketball fanbase, to Mr. and Mrs. Krzyzewski, thank you and happy anniversary!
Facing an 0-1 deficit in the Finals and without Kevin Durant, the Warriors needed big shots to beat the gritty Toronto Raptors on the road.
Quinn Cook, national champion, knows all about big shots.
While Quinn has just 9 points to his All-Star teammates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson’s 23 and 25, those came as three triples, two late in the fourth quarter in a tight game. If you aren’t familiar with the NBA, The Finals is a best-of-seven series– anywhere from four to seven games depending on how competitive they are. The Warriors had lost the first of the series and were down 0-1. The first team to win four games wins the series.
The Warriors will certainly need bench players like the former Duke star; with Kevin Durant already injured as well as Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodola, the back-to-back champs need all the scoring they can get.
According to reports, former Duke freshman and current NBA prospect Cam Reddish will be having surgery for a core muscle injury before he is drafted in June. It wasn’t documented much but may have been a factor this season, though it’s also possible that it happened during workouts for teams. How serious the injury actually is has not been publicized but it shouldn’t affect the beginning of his NBA career. After one season with the Blue Devils, Reddish is projected a lottery pick with a high athletic ceiling and a sharpshooting ability.
Bleed blue. Zion Williamson has signed with CAA Agency, by the way, so he’s not coming back. Hello, New Orleans.
After a few weeks of consideration, Marques Bolden has announced that he will remain in the NBA Draft, while his fellow rising senior, Javin DeLaurier, will return to Duke for his senior season. Best of luck to Marques Bolden in his future endeavors in the pros, and we’re happy to see Javin’s return. More to come later.
Bleed blue. I promise that I’ll post more often starting in June; exams stink.
Alongside his fellow top-5 draftees, Marvin Bagley III was selected as a top rookie in the nation by the NBA this week. More to come.
Let me inform you of two things:
1. Zion Williamson is yet to sign with an agent.
2. He is also yet to sign a shoe deal.
If you know your NCAA rules, you probably know what this means.
Zion Williamson is technically still eligible in the NCAA.
And is Zion really all that interested in the Pelicans? On The Jump today on ESPN, NBA analyst Brian Windhorst brought up the possibility. Los Angeles and New York are clearly better markets in which to build his brand, which seems all but impossible for at least a few years once he is presumably chosen first in this year’s Draft. Don’t get too excited, but know that it’s a possibility that Zion returns to college, and it’s pretty clear that he left the door open by not signing yet.
Bleed blue. He’s got until May 29th to decide, but the two more likely decisions are Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier, both of whom have not yet indicated whether or not they will stay in the draft or return.
Wow. Oh, wow.
While the Draft Lottery is anything but binding thanks to the existence of trades, a potential order of the top-four picks was decided last night by the lottery. The lottery works somewhat strangely, but basically, the fourteen worst teams have a shot at the top pick, though it increases the worse that you get. What’s surprising is that there was a 42% chance that the top pick would go to either the Knicks, the Suns, or the Cavaliers, and yet the latter two didn’t even get a top four pick.
Here come the theories: Adam Silver’s rigged this thing against tanking (when you lose purposefully, a lot, to get draft picks; you can see why, regarding the box office, this doesn’t appeal to the commissioner). Three of the four main tanking teams– Atlanta, Cleveland (it all fell apart when LeBron left), Phoenix, and New York– did not even get a top four pick.
Anyway, surprisingly enough, the New Orleans Pelicans (6% chance) were randomly selected as the team to pick first in next month’s draft. Now for what all of this has to do with Duke: Zion Williamson is at least presumably going to go #1 assuming that general manager David Griffin and the Pels’ front office haven’t lost their minds (wouldn’t put it past them with all this Anthony Davis drama).
The #2 and #3 picks went to Memphis, which has trade implications and could go to Boston, and New York respectively. Ja Morant and RJ Barrett are the two contenders fro these spots; it is likely that when one is taken at that #2 spot the other will follow. Duke fans should probably hope for Memphis for RJ– New York is no place to develop as a young player.
If you follow the NBA even remotely, you’ve probably heard the name Anthony Davis, or “The Brow” (didn’t he get rid of his unibrow?). Davis asked for a trade from New Orleans a couple of months ago, most likely trying to get to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Lakers couldn’t get something done by the trade deadline on February 7. Davis hardly played for the Pelicans, knowing that he could risk getting injured. This pick has big trade implications regarding that, as well as the picks of Los Angeles and other Davis-contenders. But could the Pelicans decide that the drama is worth it for a Davis-Zion duo?
Bleed blue. The NBA Draft is on June 20. Neither Javin DeLaurier nor Marques Bolden has made any decision on returning to Duke or remaining in the draft. Javin did not get an invite to the NBA Draft Combine after the G-League Combine (prospective draft picks and G-League players combined). There is not yet word on Marques’ status.