Randolph’s selection came in the final pick of those teams eligible for the NBA Lottery.
He was one of 16 players invited to the draft to be part of the festivities and came on stage to shake hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern.
The Dallas native becomes the 13th LSU player to be taken in the first round of the draft. He was the third choice of the decade in the first round for the Tigers, joining Stromile Swift of Vancouver (2nd pick) in 2000 and Tyrus Thomas of Portland (4th pick that was later in the evening traded to Chicago) in 2006.
When asked by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith what he thought of the comments that he needed to gain strength and was too thin, Randolph said, “I’m stronger than you think. I’ve held my own against the strongest players that I was asked to guard every night. I expect to come in and contribute wherever I can. I love to block shots and I can score.”
Randolph was the first Southeastern Conference player taken in the 2008 draft.
Randolph averaged 15.6 points per game as the only player to start all 31 games a year ago, averaging 32.8 minutes per game. He also averaged 8.5 rebounds and had 70 blocks and 35 steals.