2019 NBA Draft Profile - Zion Williamson

2019 NBA Draft Profile: Zion Williamson

Among basketball analysts, he’s been the unchallenged first overall pick of the ’19 draft class for a lengthy period of time
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

ZION WILLIAMSON

Vitals: 6-7, 284 pounds, forward
Birthdate: July 6, 2000
College: Duke (1 year)
Stats: 22.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.8 bpg, 2.1 spg, 68.0% FG

NBA.com consensus mock draft: First pick to New Orleans

 

Stock watch: Holding steady at the top

Among basketball analysts and those who follow the draft process closely, he’s been the unchallenged first overall pick of the ’19 draft class for a lengthy period of time. No credible mock draft anywhere lists him as anything but the top prospect entering the NBA this summer. Bleacher Report went a step further, posting an article headlined “Why Zion Williamson could be the best No. 1 pick in a decade.”

 

Strengths

The 18-year-old’s spectacular freshman campaign in Durham generated numerous highlight-reel plays, partly based on an athleticism that generated comic book-like headlines such as “Williamson’s jumps shouldn’t be possible at his size” and “This photo of Zion Williamson proves he has no athletic equal.” One other thing the native of the Carolinas did effectively was win, as the Blue Devils went 30-3 in the 33 games he played (one of those losses came vs. North Carolina, with Williamson only logging one minute of action due to injury). Others pointed out that his defensive prowess went underappreciated amid a stream of jaw-dropping dunks – an SB Nation headline touted that his “best skill is actually his defense,” referencing his ability to create turnovers and protect the basket.

 

Areas of improvement

A mediocre foul shooter and three-point shooter in college, making strides in his touch from the perimeter and mid-range will make it more difficult for NBA defenses to focus on keeping him away from the basket. “(His) shot is somewhat flat with awkward release position, from the side of his head,” NBADraft.net assessed. “Is developing into a capable shooter but still needs refinement. … Can get a little out of control at times, needs perimeter game to develop to be less predictable ... A good portion of his points come through overpowering less physically developed players, which will not work as well at the next level.”

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