The 2019 NBA Draft is still going on as we write this but Duke’s role in it is over and three Blue Devils - Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish - all were Top Ten picks.
Williamson went to New Orleans with the first pick of course and after, the normally ebullient Williamson was overcome with emotion and couldn't really continue his interview. His mom, somewhat more composed, took it over and spoke for him. It was a moving moment to say the least.
Fans in New Orleans were highly excited of course and one even spoke optimistically of Williamson helping to make it a two-sport town.
For his part, Barrett went to the Knicks as he had hoped. He stood with his father, Rowan Sr., and briefly spoke before he too got emotional, hugging his father and also hiding his face. He said he would cry but that we wouldn’t see it and he was right, he did keep it away from the camera. Certainly he had more luck than did Williamson.
As for Reddish, he’ll join the Hawks. Atlanta is putting together a talented core with John Collins, Trae Young, De’Andre Hunter and Kevin Huerter. The Hawks are a team on the rise.
In our first report, we had listed Reddish as a Pelican, having misunderstood the trade with Atlanta (we thought the Hawks had traded the #8 and #10 picks instead of #8 and #17. Or maybe we just wanted the fun from this season to linger a little longer. Either way, it’s not happening).
For all three of Duke’s guys it’s a big night. Barrett gets to live a dream with the Knicks although we hope the losing doesn't continue. He’s not a loser and it could grind him down.
Reddish gets to join a talented young group and should be able to display his versatility. And Williamson joins a team that has nearly miraculously been overhauled in just weeks. The future looks bright for all.