Apart from the whole ‘exploding sneakers’ fiasco, Zion Williamson truly justified the hype in what most likely be a one-and-done collegiate career.
Shortly after the Duke Blue Devils were defeated by the Michigan State Spartans in the NCAA Elite Eight, the 18-year-old phenom confirmed that there’s a high chance he will enter the 2019 NBA Draft. Let’s face it, all 30 NBA teams would love to get their hands on probably one of the most promising prospects to ever enter the league in recent years.
After all, rarely will you ever see a 6’7 freak of nature that’s built like a defensive lineman but blessed with agility and monstrous bounce. In four NCAA Tournament games, he normed 26 points and 8.5 rebounds. Williamson even broke several collegiate records—punctuated by becoming the only freshman to ever win ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP awards.
With mock drafts already picking Zion as the first player to be picked come June, FOX PH lists five NBA teams that would love to draft Williamson.
New York Knicks
Cold fact: The Knicks need all the help they could get if they will ever escape the pit of mediocrity that’s haunted the city for years. Along with Phoenix and Cleveland, NY currently has a 14 percent chance of landing the number one overall pick, according to the latest lottery odds.
RJ Barrett and Ja Morant’s stock might rise even more in the coming months, but the massive upside of a healthy Williamson might just be too good to pass up at number one. The Knicks would definitely make a leap back to prominence with a talent like Williamson.
And with NY rumoured to be possible destinations of upcoming free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the “mecca” of basketball will surely make a lot of noise in the East.
The devastation of LeBron James’ second departure continues to linger in Cleveland. The city desperately needs another savior — and Williamson certainly looks like the second coming of “The King”.
A player of Zion’s caliber will indeed accelerate Dan Gilbert’s rebuild, and will also help the franchise escape LeBron’s shadow for good.
The Phoenix Suns have a budding superstar in Devin Booker, plus a dominant force in the paint in rookie DeAndre Ayton. Still, the team has found itself in lottery yet again and are in prime position to add another vital building block.
Booker’s effortless scoring, Ayton’s inside presence, and Williamson’s freakish athleticism will indeed be scary for the rest of the league. The squad is also in need of a wing player who can also handle the ball in stretches — a role perfect for Williamson.
Unlike the three earlier teams, the Bulls only have a 12.5 chance to land the first pick, which dampens their chances on acquiring the services of Williamson. The team has promising pieces in Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Kris Dunn, but they have a glaring hole in the wing position.
The Jabari Parker experiment did not work, while Otto Porter is serviceable but it appears he won’t be a superstar anytime soon. Zion’s verticality will indeed be welcomed in the Windy City and bring the excitement back that was last seen from the days of his “Airness”.
Los Angeles Lakers
This scenario might be a stretch, considering the Lakers only have a 1.7% chance of securing the top pick. Still, the team has plenty of young assets, plus a flexible cap space, which they could offer in case they decide to go all in on acquiring a generational talent like Zion.
With LeBron getting up there in age, Magic and Rob Pelinka will indeed move heaven and earth to get him more help. Don’t be surprised if the Lakers will indeed take the route that leads to Williamson.