NEW YORK — Nerlens Noel kept waiting and waiting.
After five picks in Thursday nights’ NBA draft, the 6-11 big man from Kentucky finally heard his name when the New Orleans Pelicans selected him with the sixth pick.
Then Noel realized he’d be teaming up with last year’s No. 1 pick, Anthony Davis. “I’m just happy to be with the Pelicans,” said Noel, a favorite to be the top overall draft pick.
That lasted barely 30 minutes.
The Pelicans dealt Noel and a 2014 first-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday and this year’s 42nd pick.
With a perplexed look on his face, Noel tried to force out a smile. When asked about the five teams who passed him, Noel tried to stay positive, but admitted he felt overlooked.
“Oh yeah, I’m going to make them pay,” Noel confided to USA TODAY Sports.
Source: Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports