Ever since his high school days, Zion Williamson is a superstar among the new generation of young basketball players. His highlight videos were viral on different social media channels and it gave fans a glimpse into the tremendous potential this kid has.
Zion is a freak of nature in terms of his strength and size for his young age, and on top of that, he has a 45 inch vertical. He completely dominated his peers in high school and choose to take his talents to Duke University under the mentorship of Mike Krzyzewski who had plenty of experience helping young players get ready for the NBA.
Even on the college level, Zion is physically the most imposing player on the floor while being listed at 6’7 and at the same time weighing close to 280 pounds. Don’t forget about the crazy vertical leap and you get a prospect that hasn’t been seen since LeBron James entered the NBA straight out of high school.
Former Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough thinks Zion is a unique prospect that hasn’t been in over a decade.
He’s the most unique prospect since LeBron James. If you remember back to when they started televising LeBron’s [high school] games on ESPN, it was must-see TV. That’s what Zion is now. People tune in to see what he’s doing.
Apart from being compared to LeBron, different experts also think Zion is the next Charles Barkley, Charles Oakley or Larry Johnson. Zak Boisvert who is the head coach for West Point gave a bit of insight on the topic and he thinks it’s hard to say in which direction Zion talent will evolve.
It’s amazing how divisive people are about who he will become. Even within our own staff, we had guys project a range from Blake Griffin to Julius Randle, that’s about a $150 million dollar difference in salary.
Zion’s combination of size and speed is his big attribute at this point in his career, and he did show flashes of improvement in his jump shot but also the ability to pass the ball. There are several aspects of his game which will need to be improved if he wants to make it in the NBA.
John Gallagher who is the head coach of Hartford knows Zion’s game very well and believes he will have a great career, however, if he continues to develop his shooting and decision-making ability than he can be almost unstoppable.
He has three cards, and he needs to add two — shooting and quick decisions with the ball. When NBA people overlooked Luka Doncic, they undervalued skill, passing and shot making. That’s what Zion does not have. Zion is going to have a great career, the question is whether he can add those two cards.
In 24 games so far this season for Duke, Zion is averaging 22 points and 9 rebounds, while at the same time shooting an astonishing 68 percent from the field. He is also very active on the defensive end and has 2 blocks and 2 steals per game.
The hype surrounding this kid is real and for a good reason. Even though there are many areas in which he needs to improve his game, the sky is the limit for him. It will be interesting to see which NBA team will draft Zion next summer because that will also affect his development as we already know that there are NBA teams which support young players much better than the others.