Here's how Zion Williamson reacted to the Pelicans getting the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft

Duke Blue Devils star Zion Williamson probably didn’t expect the New Orleans Pelicans to wind up with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. The Pelicans entered the lottery with a six percent chance at landing that selection. The New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls — among others — had better odds.

While anything can happen in a lottery situation, Williamson may have seen himself playing for one of those franchises. Both the Knicks and Bulls have a rich history. Williamson could have played a huge part in making those franchises relevant again.

So when the dust settled and the Pelicans held the No. 1 overall pick, how did Williamson react?

Thankfully, we now have video of that moment.

What do we make of that? Williamson is definitely smiling and laughing in the video. He doesn’t look too disappointed.

Is that actually the case, though? ESPN reporter Marc Spears said Williamson was hoping to go to New York and was taken out of the draft room shortly after the Pelicans won the No. 1 pick.

Ultimately, it’s pretty pointless to draw any conclusions from that video. If you wanted to break things down frame by frame, you could come up with a number of conspiracy theories that fit whatever narrative you want. Is Williamson happy? Is he secretly angry? Why is RJ Barrett waving his hands like that? What is Williamson telling Barrett when the video cuts off?

You could go down a deep rabbit hole there.

In the end, Williamson’s reaction could be about getting clarity. After months of waiting, he finally knows where he’s going to be spending the next few years of his life. That alone is enough to put a smile on an 18-year-old’s face.

Duke Zion Williamson.
How did Zion Williamson react to the Pelicans getting the No. 1 pick? (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)


Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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