Six selected from Pac-12 in 2019 NBA Draft
SAN FRANCISCO – Six former Pac-12 men’s basketball standouts were selected in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night, highlighted by a pair of first-round selections and multiple picks from 2018-19 regular-season Conference champion WASHINGTON.
The six selections coupled with the 21 picks from the 2017 (14) and 2018 (seven) Drafts matches the Conference’s three-year record total of 27 from 2007-09. The Pac-12 has had 39 total Draft picks over the past five seasons, tied for the second-most of any league.
Washington senior Matisse Thybulle, the 2019 Naismith Trophy Defensive Player of the Year and two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, was the first Pac-12 student-athlete off the board to the Boston Celtics at No. 20 with a proposed trade to the Philadelphia 76ers. Thybulle set Conference records with 126 steals during the 2018-19 season and 331 steals in his four-year career from 2016-19.
Kevin Porter Jr., who averaged 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 21 games during his freshman season at USC, was the final pick of the first round at No. 30 to the Milwaukee Bucks with a proposed trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Stanford sophomore KZ Okpala, the Pac-12’s fifth-leading scorer in 2018-19 at 16.8 points per game, went 32nd overall to the Phoenix Suns with a proposed trade to the Miami Heat. The 2018-19 First Team All-Pac-12 performer is the Cardinal’s first selection since 2015 and the first NBA Draft pick for head coach Jerod Haase.
Jaylen Nowell, the 2019 Pac-12 Player of the Year who helped Washington to the Conference’s regular-season title, went 43rd overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Nowell averaged 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 44.0 percent beyond the arc as a sophomore – only former Conference standouts and eventual NBA All-Stars Brandon Roy (2005-06) and James Harden (2007-08) recorded as efficient stat lines in the league in the past quarter century.
It marked the fourth time in the modern two-round Draft format (1989) that the Huskies landed multiple selections (2006, 2012, 2016, 2019), including the third time since 2012.
Oregon freshman Bol Bol, who ranked in the top 5 in the Conference in scoring (21.0 ppg), rebounding (9.6 rpg), blocks (2.7 bpg) and three-point percentage (52.0%) at the time of his season-ending injury, went No. 44 to the Miami Heat with a proposed trade to the Denver Nuggets.
Pac-12 assists leader (6.1 apg) and UCLA sophomore Jaylen Hands came off the board at No. 56 to the Los Angeles Clippers with a proposed trade to the Brooklyn Nets. Hands is the Conference-leading 13th Bruin selected in the Pac-12 era (since 2012).
After the Draft, ARIZONA STATE's Zylan Cheatham (New Orleans) and Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City), UCLA's Kris Wilkes (New York) and Washington State's Robert Franks (Charlotte) reportedly received two-way contract offers between the NBA teams and their G League affiliates.
PAC-12 DRAFT SELECTIONS
20. Matisse Thybulle, WASHINGTON - BOS (PHILA)
30. Kevin Porter Jr., USC - MIL (CLE)
32. KZ Okpala, STANFORD - PHX (MIA)
43. Jaylen Nowell, WASHINGTON - MIN
44. Bol Bol, OREGON - MIA (DEN)
56. Jaylen Hands, UCLA - LAC (BKN)
SELECTIONS BY CONFERENCE
1. ACC - 13 - 10 first round
2. SEC - 12 - 6 first round
3. Pac-12 - 6 - 2 first round
Big Ten - 6 - 2 first round
5. Big 12 - 4 - 2 first round
6. Mountain West - 3 - 0 first round
7. Colonial - 2 - 0 first round
Ohio Valley - 2 - 2 first round
West Coast - 2 - 2 first round
10. Big East - 1 - 0 first round
Ivy League - 1 - 0 first round