Davis goes first in Rising Stars draft

New Orleans Pelicans second-year power forward Anthony Davis was a No. 1 overall draft pick again.

This time, Davis was the first pick for the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge to be held at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Feb. 14.

Davis was the first overall player selected in the NBA draft in 2012, from Kentucky. It should not have been surprising that he was picked first, too, in this draft for teams of top NBA first- and second-year players.

Davis is averaging 20.5 points on 51.8 percent shooting, 10.5 rebounds and an NBA-leading 3.30 blocked shots per game. He was not selected for the NBA All-Star team, but there is much speculation he will be picked to replace injured Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference team.

“General managers” Chris Webber and Grant Hill picked the teams, with Webber getting the first selection.

“I’m going with Anthony Davis,” Webber said. “He’s a great player; he’s from New Orleans. It’s a great pick.”

Davis played in last year’s Rising Stars, on the winning Team Chuck, coached by Charles Barkley, which beat Team Shaq, coached by Shaquille O’Neal, 163-135. He said he would enjoy playing again in the Rising Stars, regardless if he’s picked to the All-Star team.

“It’s an honor to be selected and be among my peers,” he said. “I want to support All-Star Weekend as much as I can and play before the fans. That’s what it’s all about.”

In accordance with the draft’s rules, Hill then received the next two picks, and from there, the two alternated selections. Hill took Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard and Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, both second-year players. Lillard, last season’s Rookie of the Year, was picked to the West All-Star team.

Webber then picked Philadelphia’s versatile rookie guard Michael Carter-Williams.

The rest of Webber’s team consists of, in draft order, New York Knicks rookie guard Tim Hardaway, Utah Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke, Boston Celtics second-year center/forward Jared Sullinger, Phoenix Suns second-year center Mason Plumlee, Orlando Magic rookie guard Victor Oladipo, and two “blind-draw” selections by O’Neal from a large container — Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams and Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, both rookie centers.

The rest of Hill’s choices were: Detroit Pistons second-year center Andre Drummond, Golden State Warriors second-year small forward Harrison Barnes, Houston Rockets second-year power forward Terrence Jones, Milwaukee Bucks rookie shooting guard Giannis Antetokounmpo, Toronto Raptors second-year center Jonas Valanciunas and blind picks Dion Waiters, a Cleveland Cavaliers second-year guard, and Pero Antic, an Atlanta Hawks rookie center.