Pelicans set to receive No. 17 draft pick Trey Murphy III

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans added No. 17 overall NBA draft choice Trey Murphy III to their 2021 rookie class on Thursday night.

Memphis formally made the selection of the Virginia swing player for New Orleans as part of a previously agreed upon multi-player and multi-pick trade that cannot become official until Aug. 6 under NBA rules.

Murphy played one season at Virginia after transferring from Rice, where he played his first two college seasons. Murphy averaged 11.3 points per game for the Cavaliers last season, shooting 50.3% overall and and a team-high 43.3% from 3-point range. He also was a 92.7% free throw shooter.

As a sophomore at Rice, he led the Owls with 13.7 points per game.

Now he’s set to begin his NBA career playing for team starring power forward Zion Williamson and wing player Brandon Ingram, and coached by Willie Green, a former NBA guard who accepted his first head coaching job with the Pelicans last week after serving this past season as an assistant with Western Conference champion Phoenix.

The trade, which the Pelicans and Grizzlies agreed to Monday, involved a swap of the 10th and 17th picks and sent center Steven Adams and guard Eric Bledsoe to Memphis in exchange for center Jonas Valanciunas. New Orleans also sent its 40th overall choice to Memphis for the Grizzlies’ 51st pick.

New Orleans selected 6-foot-8 forward Ziaire Williams of Stanford 10th overall for Memphis, which also is slated to receive New Orleans’ protected 2022 first-round choice if it doesn’t fall in the top 10.

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