NEW YORK — Malachi Richardson was taken with the 22nd pick of the NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, and immediately shipped to the Sacramento Kings as part of a deal that involved guard Marco Belinelli.
Richardson slipped a bit, as most mocks placed him in the late teens, but in the end, the former Syracuse guard was still a first round pick. Here’s what he had to say after:
Opening Statement: Just excited to be drafted. Dream come true for sure. Whirlwind of emotions.
On going to the Sacramento Kings: I just look forward to going out there and working my tail off, trying to help that organization.
On if he worked out with the Kings prior to the draft: I was able to hang out with DeMarcus Cousins a little bit while I was out in Vegas, but no, I didn’t work out with the Kings.
On how it felt to finally hear his name: It feels like an animal being lifted off my back. Just waiting and waiting to hear your name called is sort of crazy. But I’m just glad and thankful I was picked by the Sacramento Kings, and I look forward to it.
On proving people wrong by being drafted in the first round: That means a lot. You can’t really worry about what people say anymore. They’re not in my shoes, and I just got to make the best of the opportunity.
On the conversations he was having with his family while he waited: Just hoping I’m the next name. It definitely helped to use my family and kept me up, but it was definitely tough sitting and waiting, but it was worth it.
On the transition from zone to man defense: It definitely won’t hurt me. I played man-to-man my whole life and I’ve been able to show that I can play man in these workouts, so just going to have to get out there and play.
On recent Syracuse draft picks struggling: I mean, there are a few guys that have definitely had pretty good careers. Everyone isn’t a superstar in this league, so I think that’s just a coincidence.
On his first purchase with his NBA contract: I have no clue yet. I haven’t thought of anything.
On what it was like slipping past initial projections: This draft was a little hectic at first. There was a lot of guys still sitting in the green room that a everyone thought would be picked earlier and there were a lot of people picked that no one really thought about. A lot of things happened and I got slotted down a little bit, but I’m just thankful to be in this position that I’m in.
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