Deputy commissioner Mark Tatum holds up the card giving New Orleans the No. 1 overall pick

No surprise at top, but various names listed for Pelicans second-rounders

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Looking for a challenge? Try finding anyone, anywhere who does not list Zion Williamson as their projected No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. While New Orleans has not publicly declared its intentions and plans for the top overall selection June 20,

NBA.com consensus: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

“Has unmatched athletic ability and all-around skills to become franchise-transforming centerpiece.”

The Athletic: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

He put up 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting an insane 68 percent from the field. It kind of goes without saying, but no one in the last 25 years of college basketball has achieved those benchmarks. His 40.8 PER doesn’t just set the record for highest mark of the last decade; it shatters it.”

Bleacher Report: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

“The decision to select Zion Williamson should be locked in. Now, the New Orleans Pelicans will make their best pitch to Anthony Davis about staying and building alongside one of the game’s top prospects.”

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

“Williamson’s an incredible athlete who packs power and force in his game, and he channeled it to put up 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game at Duke. ... David Griffin, the Pelicans’ executive VP of basketball operations has the draft’s easiest decision.”

Gary Parrish, CBS Sports: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

“I’m not saying there’s never been a prospect this good. But what I can say is that there’s never been a prospect this unique. Simply put, nobody on the planet Zion’s size can do the things Zion does.”

ESPN.com: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

“A physical specimen unlike any we've seen in recent memory at 6-foot-6, 285 pounds. Will be one of the most explosive athletes in the NBA right away, but is also blessed with incredible fluidity, coordination, body control and power.”

The Ringer: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

“Zion’s explosive jukes and hop-steps are glitches in the laws of physics; a player his size shouldn’t be able to create separation the way he does. … A wrecking-ball finisher who can finish through and above contact; his size, athleticism, and ballhandling ability will lead to a lot of defensive fouls drawn.”

SI.com: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

“Williamson is already one of the league’s most valuable young assets and holds a world of potential. Don’t expect the Pelicans to overthink this.”

Yahoo Sports: Zion Williamson, Duke forward

“The basketball gods, a lucky tie and an angel figurine were all on David Griffin’s side in Chicago for the draft lottery.”

Second-round projections

The Athletic: 39, Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s guard; 57, Jontay Porter, Missouri center

NBADraft.net: 39, Carsen Edwards, Purdue guard; 57, Jalen Lecque, North Carolina State guard

Yahoo (April 9): 39, Naz Reid, LSU forward; 57, Zylan Cheatham, Arizona State forward

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