By Gary Bedore
The Kansas City Star
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TNS) — For just the second time in the last nine years, Kansas has failed to land a first-round pick in the NBA draft.
The Jayhawks, who were shut out in selections 1 through 30 during Thursday night’s proceedings in Brooklyn, N.Y., did represent in the second round.
Big 12 player of the year Devonté Graham, a consensus first-team All-American out of Raleigh, N.C., was selected 34th overall — the fourth pick of the second round — by the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks then traded the pick to the Charlotte Hornets, giving Graham a chance to play for his homestate NBA team.
It was the exact same slot as Frank Mason was taken a year ago — No. 34 by Sacramento.
Svi Mykhailiuk was chosen No. 47 overall (17th pick of the second round) by the Los Angeles Lakers. Malik Newman and Billy Preston were not taken among the 60 selections Thursday.
Graham, 6 feet 2, broke two KU single-season records in 2017-18 with 282 assists and 1,474 minutes played.
He was the only player in the country to average 17.0-plus points (17.3), 7.0-plus assists (7.2), 1.6-plus steals (1.6) and less than 3.0 turnovers per game (2.8). He finished his career as KU’s No. 13 leading scorer (1,750), No. 5 in assists (632), No. 2 in three-point field goals (296), No. 7 in steals (197) and No. 2 in minutes played (4,498).
Mykhailiuk, 6-8 from Cherkasy, Ukraine, was a second-team all-Big 12 selection this past season after finishing second on KU’s team in scoring at 14.6 points per game. He hit a KU single-season record 115 three-pointers. He was the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the top three in three-point field goals made (third at 2.9 per game) and three-point field-goal percentage (second at 44.4). Mykhailiuk concluded his KU career No. 4 on the school’s three-point field goals list (237). He’s No. 5 on the three-point field goals attempted list (579) and No. 41 in scoring (1,181 points).
As far as other Big 12 players … Oklahoma's Trae Young was taken fifth overall but effectively was the third player selected. Atlanta, which had the third pick, chose Luka Doncic for Dallas. The Mavericks, who had the fifth pick, in turn, selected Young for the Hawks.
Texas’ Mo Bamba was selected sixth overall by Orlando. Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith just missed the lottery by two picks. He was selected 16th by Phoenix, but is on his way to Philadelphia via trade.
Once again, the top players in the draft were young.
The first nine picks in the draft consisted of eight college freshmen plus 19-year-old Doncic. Villanova junior Mikal Bridges was the first non-freshman taken at No. 10. Ten of the 14 lottery picks were college freshmen.