12up Logo12up Logo

BREAKING: Pelicans Select Zion Williamson With No. 1 Overall Pick

LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 21: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils clinches his fist and lets out a yell after funking the ball during the second half of the game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 21, 2018 in Lahaina, Hawaii.  (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
Darryl Oumi

The Zion Williamson era is officially underway in New Orleans. With the first selection in the 2019 NBA draft, the Pelicans picked the athletic freak out of Duke to be their franchise player for years to come.

Was it ever really a question?

In his only season under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, Zion lived up to all of the hype he accrued as a high school phenom-- and then some. With 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, Williamson was putting up historically efficient numbers on a Duke team that advanced to the Elite 8.

Williamson is everything a modern power forward needs to be. More than just a dominant scorer with an improving jump shot, Williamson also has an unbelievable vertical, a terrific transition game, and standout defense in the post and on the perimeter. Zion should be an instant starter in New Orleans, as well as an instant NBA League Pass favorite.

Anthony Davis might be in Los Angeles, but the Pelicans' future looks bright with Zion at the center of it all. The young core of Zion, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball should work wonders for Alvin Gentry and New Orleans, who have a whole batch of picks to work with even after No. 1 is in the books.