New Orleans Pelicans draft Zion Williamson with first pick

Zion Williamson, 18, is headed to the New Orleans Pelicans following Thursday's draft.

Zion Williamson was the No. 1 pick of the NBA Draft on Thursday.   -  (Getty Images)

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Zion Williamson with the number one pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Williamson was unsurprisingly selected first on Thursday after the former Duke star put together one of the most captivating freshman seasons ever.

The 6-7 forward averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while shooting an impressive 68 per cent from the field in his lone season with the Blue Devils.

Williamson collected some notable accolades along the way. He was a first-team All-American, Naismith National College Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, ACC Rookie of the Year and won the Karl Malone Award. He is just the third freshmen in history to take home the Naismith Award.

The 18-year-old will step into an interesting situation in New Orleans. The Pelicans have reportedly agreed to send star Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the fourth selection in 2019.

New Orleans suddenly have an influx of young talent, and Williamson will likely be the face of the franchise from day one.

Williamson is expected to play a pivotal role in transforming last season's 33-49 Pelicans into a title contender in the coming years.