When LSU’s Will Wade and Louisiana’s Bob Marlin traded hostile quotes after the NIT match-up between the two schools there was one thing they did agree on, the Pelican State (that’d make a great college name) was on the rise in basketball. It sounded like something any coach would say, but Thursday’s NBA draft proved it true.
In past eight NBA drafts, four players hailing from Louisiana were drafted. Thursday, Louisiana saw four products picked all between picks 27-36.
With the 27th overall pick, the Boston Celtics drafted Texas A&M big man Robert Williams. The 6-foot-9-inch forward is from Shreveport and ESPN says it might be the steal of the draft.
Williams’ ability to protect the rim is something the Celtics covet, and he’s now in a perfect situation to continue to develop his basketball IQ in one of the NBA’s best cultures and player-development systems. — Jonathan Givony
With the very next pick the World Champion Golden State Warriors were on the clock and wasted no time grabbing Cincinnati Jacob Evans. The Baton Rouge native’s versatility attracted a team who believes in positionless basketball.
In the second round two more names popped off the board in Tulane’s Melvin Frazier who is from New Orleans. He was picked by the Magic at 35. He was followed by Chalmette High Schools Mitchell Robinson who didn’t play college ball, sitting out one season while preparing for the draft.
Next season Louisiana schools will have names to watch, like LSU incoming freshman Nazreon Reid (New Jersey,) and sophomore Tremont Waters (Connecticut.) The Ragin’ Cajuns feature Jakeenan Gant (Georgia.) These three just among a handful of players who will draw NBA attention, but will the Pelican State have one of it’s own drafted? Mississippi State’s Lamar Peters (New Orleans) seems to good bet to continue the trend.