NEW YORK – One of the expected sights of NBA draft night is newly selected players changing the team hats they had just been handed.
Doug McDermott of Creighton, the national college player of the year last season, was the first to do it Thursday night. He had just been taken by Denver at No. 11 and was on his way to do television interviews. While he was waiting, McDermott asked one of his escorts about changing hats because he had just been told of a trade.
He kept the Nuggets hat on for a few minutes. Then came the official word: McDermott's rights had been traded to the Chicago Bulls for the rights to Jusuf Nurkic of Croatia, the No. 16 pick, and Gary Harris of Michigan State, the No. 19 pick, and a 2015 second-round draft pick.
Philadelphia traded the rights to Elfrid Payton of Louisiana-Lafayette, the No. 10 pick, to Orlando for the rights to Dario Saric of Croatia, the No. 12 pick.
And Charlotte sent the rights to Shabazz Napier, the No. 24 pick who led Connecticut to the national championship last season, to Miami for the rights to former North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston, the No. 26 pick.
"I'm just really excited to land in Chicago," McDermott said. "This whole draft process has been pretty crazy, a lot of workouts, a lot of traveling, and it's awesome to see all that finally pay off."
McDermott said being a Bull hasn't sunk in yet.
"D Rose is one of my favorite players," he said, referring to Derrick Rose. "I was a huge Gator fan, so I love Joakim (Noah). I can't even believe I'm about to join their team."
Napier arrives in Miami with the blessing of free agent LeBron James, who tweeted: "My favorite player in the draft! (hashtag) Napier."
"My agent just told me that (James) tweeted something out about me just now," Napier said as he met the media. "It's just something special to know that one of the best players in the world thinks about you and appreciates your talent. That's something that I'm so humble for."