Pelicans rookies shine in NBA Summer League debut

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Las Vegas, NV — A little more than 2 weeks after the NBA Draft, the Pelicans were finally able to introduce the rest of their 2019 draft class at a press conference in Las Vegas.

“Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jaxson Hayes, and Didi Silva have been chomping at the bit to get on the court the last week,” said Pelicans General Manager Trajan Langdon. “Obviously through the moratorium and things we had to work out with the trade, they’ve been incredibly patient throughout this process and we’re incredibly excited to have you guys finally be officially apart of the New Orleans Pelicans organization.”

90 minutes after that presser, the trio of rookies played in their first NBA game. They all scored in double figures in the Pelicans’ 37-point win over the Bulls. The talk of the game was their number 8 overall pick out of Texas, Jaxson Hayes, who posterized his defender in the second quarter, and subsequently set Twitter on fire. Hayes led the way with 28 points and threw-down 9 dunks along the way.

“It’s been really exciting just seeing my progression throughout the years,” Hayes said. “Just going from my junior year I was hardly playing and then my senior year I was all-state, came in as a freshman at Texas thinking that I might have gotten red-shirted, going to start the second half of the year and become a lottery pick. It’s just really exciting and really fun.”

Equally impressive in his debut, the Pelicans 17th overall pick, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, dropped 23 points and dished-out 8 assists. The guard out of Virginia Tech showed flashes of quickness to the hoop and versatility– two attributes that will make him a good fit in the Pelicans fast-paced system.

“Summer league is a great way to get introduced into the NBA and prepare ourselves for what’s ahead,” Alexander-Walker said. “If we win every game and learn how to play together, that’s a win. But if we lose every game but still learn that we’re growing and going in the right direction, I think eventually it’ll start to crescendo the right way.”

As for Didi Louzada Silva, he added 13 points, and all three combined for 7 blocks and 5 steals.


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