New Orleans Pelicans: 2019 NBA Draft grades

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Matteo Marchi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Matteo Marchi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

No. 1 pick: Zion Williamson

You know what grade this pick is getting. Zion Williamson has been the clear-cut no. 1 overall pick since December, and his generational athleticism, skill and hustle will almost certainly propel him into the All-NBA conversation sooner rather than later.

For the Pelicans, Thursday night was about executing a plan around Zion, who figures to play power forward for the vast majority of his minutes next season. Regardless, this reaction from the fans was absolutely warranted:

More earned? Zion’s own reaction after realizing his dream of becoming the No. 1 overall pick. Zion’s personality is as world-class as his talent, and few have criticized him in any way over his past nine months in the public eye — a rare thing, indeed — but the genuine emotion and gratitude he showed Thursday night will make it nigh impossible to ever root against him.

Zion will begin next season as the face of the New Orleans Pelicans franchise and one of the NBA’s brightest young stars. That alone has things looking up in NOLA.

Grade: A+