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Noel, Goodwin Taken in First Round of NBA Draft

This article appears courtesy of KY Forward.

For almost 10 minutes it appeared that UK fans would finally get to see former Wildcats Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel play together, but the New Orleans Pelicans traded Noel after selecting him with the No. 6 pick.

After drafting Noel, the Pelicans, who took Davis No. 1 overall in 2012, traded him to Philadelphia 76ers, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports.

Noel was projected by most draft analysts to be selected first overall despite missing the final nine games of his freshman season after tearing his ACL in a game versus Florida on Feb. 12. He is not expected to be ready to play in a game until November or December.

The Boston native finished his only season as a Wildcat with a 10.5 points-per-game and 9.5 rebounds-per-game average. He totaled 106 blocks in 24 games, second most in a single-season in UK history. Despite missing the team’s final nine games, Noel led UK with 50 steals on the season.

Junior center Gorgui Diengbecame Louisville’s first first-round selection since 2009 when he was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 21st selection. The Jazz then traded Dieng to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Dieng averaged 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds for the national champion Cardinals. He blocked 83 shots and totaled 66 assists.

The Oklahoma City Thunder drafted UK freshman guard Archie Goodwinwith the 29th pick and reportedly traded him to the Phoenix Suns. Goodwin was projected as a second-round pick, but became the 10th one-and-done player to be drafted in the first round in the Calipari Era.

Goodwin led UK in scoring with a 14.1 points-per-game average as a freshman. He averaged 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

The Arkansas native, who declared he was not ready to turn pro following UK’s season-ending NIT loss only to enter the draft two weeks later, is the first freshman to declare for the NBA draft in the Calipari Era not to be selected in the first round. Goodwin, who is the second-youngest player in the draft, has drawn criticism for his decision making (he totaled 101 turnovers on the season) and shooting (he shot 26.6 percent from three-point range.

Goodwin and Noel increase the number of UK draftees in the Calpari Era to 17 and first-round selections to 11. UK extended its streak of multiple first-round picks to four years.

Others from Kentucky universities selected in the NBA Draft: Gorgui Dieng of Louisville was taken as the #21 pick in the first round by the Utah Jazz; Isaiah Canaan of Murray State was taken as the #34 pick in the second round by the Houston Rockets; Peyton Siva of Louisville was taken as the #56 pick in the second round by the Detroit Pistons.

Photo: Nerlens Noel/KY Forwad file