The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. Duke forward Zion Williamson took the college basketball world by storm and is now headed to the NBA Draft.
2018-2019 stats: 22.6 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game, 2.1 assists per game, 2.1 steals per game, 1.8 blocks per game, 68% field goal, 33.8% 3 point
Size: 6-foot-7, 285 pounds
Williamson was one of the most hyped up players coming into college, but was not ranked as the top prospect in the class by a lot of the recruiting rankings in the country. His one year at Duke saw him become the most notable player in college basketball.
For his play at Duke, he received plenty of awards and accolades. Most notably, Williamson was given the Wooden Award, which is given to the best player in college basketball each year. He helped Duke become the top seed in the tournament. Although they lost in the Elite Eight to Michigan State, it was a year where Williamson dominated the headlines.
Although his play didn’t result in a National Championship for Duke, Williamson proved his talents and will now likely be the top pick in the NBA Draft.
Williamson’s greatest strength is his athleticism. Everyone can see his highlight reel dunks all over the internet, but it is more than that. He uses it to his advantage in all situations, as he can get to the basket with ease. Williamson is great for transition play as well, as he can start the break with a steal or a block (because of his athleticism) and finish at the other end.
His strength is among the best in the draft class. Williamson is 285 pounds, with his 6-foot-7 frame, and it looks like he is all pure muscle. He used his strength well as he battled with taller players down low and was still able to score and rebound at an effective rate.
While he is applauded for his dunks and athleticism, Williamson has a high basketball IQ. He recognizes what defenses want to do and makes the correct basketball play, even if sometimes the correct play is barrelling towards the basket and getting a bucket. On defense, he is a great team defender and comes from the weak side to protect the rim on a lot of plays.
Williamson could be a tweener in the NBA because of his frame. He has athleticism, but may not have a set position. This is less of an issue now that the NBA is becoming more and more positionless. When his team goes small, he’ll have to play the small-ball five and could be matched up with players that have more of an inside focused game.
His outside shooting will also be criticized, but he did get his percentage up to 33.8 percent from deep for the season. His shooting form will also come into question. His feet are often too close together and the ball is held at a weird angle above his head when he shoots. If he can make shots that way, it’s ok, but some coaches may try to change it, which could hurt his development.
In college, he was able to muscle his way to the basket and overpower smaller defenders. In the NBA, he won’t have that same luxury. He’ll need to add to his offensive game so that he can score in more ways than just bullying his way to the basket in a half-court offense.
Projected Draft Range: Top 5 pick