In a the era of positionless basketball in the NBA, Zion Williamson fits the bill perfectly.
Williamson showed Duke that his lots of athletics with his 6-foot-7, 285-pound frame, he is one of the most intriguing prospects in NBA draft history. He has the ability to throw down a breathtaking dunk, or can dribble around a guard and make plays for his teammates.
“He’s still only 18,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said on his SiriusXM radio show. “And as an athlete, he’s one of the best athletes in the world, not just in basketball. He’s at that level of a young man.
Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 68% and stealing just about every national player of the year award while becoming a SportsCenter staple.
Where Zion stands with the New Orleans Pelicans
Zion can do it all, and it would be an absolute shock if he wasn’t taken No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans. But what is his place at the NBA level, particularly with the Pels?
If you ask anyone who played against him, like a former Virginia guard and fellow prospect De’Andre Hunter, the answer is simple: everywhere.
“For his size, he can go anywhere he wants on the field,” De’Andre Hunter said of national champion Virginia. “He’s just a very strong, dominant player.”
Williamson will likely be listed as a forward at the next level, playing alongside Brandon Ingram, who the Pelicans recently acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Lakers.
Who does Zion Williams compare himself to in the NBA
But that doesn’t mean he’ll be confined to small forward or power forward positions. He is an ideal small ball center and can even handle the ball a bit. ESPN listed five lineups for Zion games by asking the question “who is Zion at the next level”.
The lineups were Draymond Green for his defensive versatility, Ben Simmons for his transition skills, Blake Griffin for his playmaking athleticism, Charles Barkley for his motor and rebounding, and Julius Randle for his scoring style.
Barkley is among those concerned about Williamson’s place in the NBA.
“I think the way the game is played now, he’s going to be chasing the three and four (small forwards and power forwards) on the field, it’s going to be tough,” Barkley told USA Today. “I’m smart enough to know that as a basketball player, it would have been harder for me to defend three and four in today’s game than it would have been to just get in the box and beat each other against the others. I don’t know if he will be a three or a four, and it won’t be easy.
His former head coach doesn’t have the same concerns – not at all.
“He could be an All-Star right away,” Krzyzewski told Yahoo Sports. “There’s not really a ceiling. He has no weakness. He may not shoot it as well as he would like, but he shoots it well.
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