Zion Williamson is entering the 2019 NBA Draft with more hype than anyone since LeBron James. NBA owners of the teams bottom teams were hoping the suffering from the 2018-2019 season was worth it and they secure the number one pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. It was the New Orleans Pelicans who secured that pick and are likely to draft Williamson.
Zion Williamson College Career
Zion Williamson came into Duke rated as the number five overall player in the 247 sports composite rankings. It became apparent rather quickly that he should have been the unanimous number one ranked player in his class. In his first game, he left a lasting impression. He led the Blue Devils to a dominant 118-84 win over the Kentucky Wildcats. Williamson finished that game with 28 points while making 11 of 13 attempts, grabbed seven rebounds, and had numerous highlight reel plays. He didn’t stop there as he was absolutely dominant for the entire season. Williamson finished the season averaging 22.8 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game, and 2.1 assists per game. He also shot a mind-numbing 68 percent from the floor and led Duke to an Elite Eight berth.
Zion Williamson NBA Draft Positives
The biggest positive to Zion Williamson’s game is his explosiveness. Williamson is one of the most explosive athletes to ever grace a basketball court. One of the underrated skills for a basketball player is how quick they can get off the floor on a second jump. Numerous times this season Williamson would miss inside and be the first back off the floor for the putback. Williamson handles the ball very well, and despite his low number of assists, passes the ball very well. The most noticeable aspect in Zion Williamson’s game is his finishing ability. Often times he is looking down at the rim on finishes. He is very good defensively because of his quickness. Despite the fact that he is only 6’6” tall, he is one of the better weak side shot blockers in the draft.
Zion Williamson NBA Draft Question Marks
For as many positives as there are to his game, there are a few things that teams should be concerned about. Williamson is not a very good shooter. He only shot 33.8 percent from three, and a poor 64 percent from the free throw line. Combined with the fact that he is a below average shooter, his 6’6″ size should be a little concerning because he will likely have to play power forward at the next level. The final is something that few people are talking about. Williamson is carrying an absurd 280 pounds on his frame. Now, most of that is muscle, but the first thing that he needs to do is drop about 15 pounds. Carrying that much weight is not good for knee ligaments. Once those go, so does his athleticism.
A lot of experts are comparing Zion Williamson to Larry Johnson due to their size and athleticism. But, Larry Johnson was a solid shooter. A closer comparison for Zion would be the “Reign Man” Shawn Kemp. Although Kemp wasn’t undersized like Williamson is, he was an athletic freak who just overwhelmed opponents with his athleticism.
Round 1, Pick 1
Main Photo: COLUMBIA, SC – MARCH 24: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates following their 77-76 win against the Central Florida Knights during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)