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Pelicans are picking up on the youngest first round players, add Petty | Ncaa basketball


NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The New Orleans Pelicans exercised options on four former first-round drafting decisions, including star striker Zion Williamson, and added undrafted rookie guard John Petty Jr. to their roster.

The Pelicans took fourth year options on first-round design decisions from Williamson, center Jaxson Hayes and guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker and kept them under contract until the next season. New Orleans also exercised a third year option on Kira Lewis Jr.

Petty’s signing gives the Pelicans a third Crimson Tide player since drafting Lewis 13th overall from Alabama last year.

New Orleans also selected former Crimson Tide forward Herbert Jones at the start of the 2021 draft round two.

The 6-foot-5, 184-pound pantty averaged 11.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and two assists over four seasons in Alabama, and hit a school record of 311 career-3-pointers.

Petty was named the All-SEC first team last season after averaging 12.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists with 77 3s made.

New Orleans was expected to pick up options for the most recent first-round picks after showing promise in the early stages of their careers – none more than Williamson, a 2021 All-Star who averaged 25.7 points and seven in his game Rebounds scored first two seasons.

Alexander-Walker has played in 93 games with 14 starts, averaging 8.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

Hayes has played in 124 games with 17 starts, averaging 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds.

Lewis came off the bench as a rookie in 54 games last season, averaging 6.4 points and 2.3 assists.

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