Thursday was an enormous night for the ACC. And NBA record 10 players from the conference were selected in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.
Three players were chosen in the top ten with Duke’s Jayson Tatum (No. 3 to Boston), Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac (No. 6 to Orlando), and N.C. State’s Dennis Smith Jr. (No. 9 to Dallas) leading the way.
The conference was dominant at the top of the second round as well with the first two selections.
Duke freshman guard Frank Jackson was selected No. 31 overall by the Charlotte Hornets. His draft rights were later traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for cash and the 40th overall draft choice — which we’ll get to in a minute.
Jackson could have a very good shot of providing some stability in an uncertain backcourt. He averaged 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists during his only season at Duke. He’ll now get to play with DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, two of the best big men in the NBA.
The 32nd overall pick saw Miami’s Davon Reed snapped up by the Phoenix Suns. Reed was projected by most to be a late second round pick, so he was clearly valued a great deal by the Suns.
The 6’6″ guard averaged 10.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists over 99 games in his career. He finished with 1,343 points which puts him 16th on Miami’s all-time scoring list.
That 40th overall selection came into play for another ACC talent. Florida State’s Dwayne Bacon will head to the Charlotte Hornets as part of that trade. He averaged 16.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 69 career games. He brings tremendous athleticism and offensive punch to a Charlotte team that needs both in the backcourt.
Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame was the final ACC player to be selected with the 59th overall pick. The San Antonio Spurs took a shot on the 6’7″, 220-pound forward just one spot before the final pick of the draft.
Blossomgame has battled injuries during his career, but showed the kind of potential he has in 2016. That year he averaged 18.7 PPG and shot 53.8 percent from the floor and 44.1 percent from 3-point range. While his overall shooting percentage went up in his final season, his three-point range plummeted to 25.5.
He’ll have to improve his shooting to stick in the league, but the Spurs are quite possibly the best organization in basketball and they always seem to find value with late picks.