3 Reasons Why Zion Williamson Is The Best Top Pick In NBA Since LeBron James
Zion Williamson has yet to play a single minute in the NBA as of yet, but he’s already built quite a following. Williamson is a gravity-defying specimen with the quickness of a guard, the frame of a baby elephant, and the athleticism and mobility of a wing player.
He’s a once-in-a-generation type of athlete every NBA scout is salivating for. Only LeBron James, in 2003, had as much hype as Williamson is having right now prior to draft day when the now Los Angeles Lakers star was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first-overall selection of that year’s draft class.
In the eyes of almost everyone, Zion Williamson will be a slam dunk in the NBA. Nitrogen Sports Blog breaks down three reasons why the man-child is destined to be a superstar in the NBA and is the best prospect since LeBron James.
Zion would have averaged more points than the 22.6 he had per contest by easily bullying his way into the rim and abusing all mismatches — and there were a ton of them — on offense. But he’s also an unselfish player, willing to share the limelight with the other Blue Devils star.
Williamson averaged just 2.1 assists per game, but that was more than what Blake Griffin, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Joel Embiid each produced in their respective freshman years in college. Moreover, Williamson was third on his team with a 14.9 assists percentage.
Williamson liked drawing the attention of the defense and making drop passes to his partner R.J. Barrett or making kickout dimes to Duke’s shooters. He doesn’t have the vision of King James, but Williamson’s unselfishness can still be viewed as the best prospect since LeBron.
When it comes to physical skills and pure athletic abilities, Zion’s attributes are uncanny, and this is arguably the biggest reason why people think he’s the best prospect since LeBron. He’s 6’7 with a walking weight of around 280 pounds.
Despite his size, he’s got powerful springs that allow him to jump out of the gym. In fact, he boasts of a 41-inch vertical. We don’t really need a measurement to see how insane Williamson’s hops are, as we’ve been treated to an endless stream of dunk highlights in his only year in Durham.
Simply put, Zion is a monster on both ends of the court. His 20.2 box-plus-minus in the 2018-19 NCAA season is the best among all players dating back to the start of the decade. He had the best defensive rating among all Duke players last season, which is saying a lot, considering that the Blue Devils had the sixth-best defense in the nation, per KenPom.
When Williamson was on the floor for Duke, opponents averaged just 87.4 points per 100 possessions. Zion could lock down guards and will help limit opponents’ shots with his rebounding. He also topped the Blue Devils with 8.9 boards per game to go with a 15.5 total rebound percentage.
Based on everything he’s done in his basketball career thus far, Zion Williamson is going to have a bright future ahead of him in the NBA, starting with a stint with the New Orleans Pelicans.
He’s widely regarded as the best NBA prospect since LeBron James, an assessment that can be both a blessing and a burden for the former Duke Blue Devils star. We will all just have to wait and see how Williamson will pan out in the pros.