NEW YORK—The NBA draft is a hectic occasion every year, but this year’s crop of Blue Devils provided all the excitement fans could have wanted—Jahlil Okafor is joining a crowded frontcourt in Philadelphia, Justise Winslow is taking his talents to South Beach and Tyus Jones is going home.

After the Minnesota Timberwolves kicked things off by selecting Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns—a selection that was seemingly solidified weeks in advance—the real magic, or chaos, of the draft got underway immediately.

In the days leading up to the draft, Okafor spoke of the two workouts and dinners he had with the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Lakers seemed poised to select another franchise center. Instead, Los Angeles used the second pick on Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell. The initial reaction after the pick was that Okafor would slide even further to the New York Knicks at No. 4, but the Philadelphia 76ers had other plans.

Despite having two big men who were recent lottery picks—Nerlens Noel was the sixth overall pick in 2013 and Joel Embiid the third selection in 2014—the 76ers boosted their frontcourt once again, selecting Okafor with the third overall pick.

“I wasn’t shocked. I knew I was going to the NBA tonight. I was going to be a top-five pick, no matter what happened,” Okafor said. “I’m not too familiar with Philadelphia. One of my teammates at Duke University, Amile Jefferson, is from there, and always talking about [how] it’s the best city and all that other stuff. I’m from Chicago, so we always argue. But I’m excited to get to know the city a little better.”

Although Embiid is not expected to be available for a large chunk of the upcoming season as the former Kansas big man recovers from a foot injury, the pick still leaves Philadelphia with three back-to-the-basket post players. When asked how the trio will play together Okafor deflected the initial doubts.

“It’s not my job to figure out. I’ll just go there and work as hard as I can,” he said.

Okafor ended up dropping one spot lower than expected, but his former Duke teammate Justise Winslow may end up being the biggest steal of the draft.

Heading into Thursday, Winslow was a slated as a possible top-five pick thanks to his athleticism and two-way ability, but things did not fall into place come draft time. The New York Knicks—one of the expected landing spots for the Houston native—used the fourth pick on Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis, and the Detroit Pistons, another team expected to look at Winslow, passed on him in favor of Arizona's Stanley Johnson at No. 8.

With Winslow still available at No. 10, the Miami Heat did not hesitate to scoop him up, adding the swingman to a lineup that already boasts Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Hasaan Whiteside and Goran Dragic. With Winslow, the Heat refilled a position left largely vacant in 2014-15 after LeBron James’ departure for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miami could presumably start the 6-foot-6 swingman at small forward and boast one of the most talented starting fives in the Eastern Conference if Wade returns to South Beach.

“I’m very happy. You can say blessing in disguise, but I just see it as a blessing, nothing disguised about it,” Winslow said. “Right now, this is about me coming in, being myself playing my game and not trying to be LeBron James. Let Lebron James be LeBron James. I’m going to be Justise Winslow. Dwyane Wade will be Dwyane Wade and let the rest take care of itself."

Winslow was not the only Blue Devil who may possibly benefit from a slide down the draft board. Former Duke point guard Tyus Jones was thought to be a mid-first-round pick, but slipped to the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 24.

But Jones will not join James and former Blue Devil Kyrie Irving on the shores of Lake Eerie. Instead, he'll remain in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, as the Cavaliers traded Jones to his home-state team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, for two second-round picks. There, Jones will join the last three No. 1 overall picks in Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.

As a true point guard, Jones will likely back up incumbent floor general Ricky Rubio in his first year playing in the league but showed he could thrive sharing the backcourt with Quinn Cook last season for head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Jones’ selection gave Duke three first-round picks for just the second time in school history.

As expected, Kentucky dominated the lottery, joining North Carolina as the second school in the history of the draft to tally four lottery picks. After Towns walked across the podium first, former Wildcats Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker heard their names called sixth, 12th and 13th, respectively.