School: Duke University
Height/Weight: 6’7, 285 lbs
Zion is a one of a kind talent that we have never seen. Julius Randle and Charles Barkley are realistic comparisons but don’t even come close to telling the whole story. His handle, vision, athleticism, and shot are even more impressive than we had originally thought. Let’s start with his handle and vision.
Zion Williamson has showcased the ability to pass exceptionally well and we’ve seen no indication that he’d struggle to handle the ball in any scenario. Particularly in transition is precisely where we’ve seen him excel with passing the ball and handling the rock.
Let’s take a second to break down this clip. The first impressive thing to note is that as soon as he gets the rebound, he is out and running. There is no hesitation from him and in a flash, he’s turned it into a 3-on-2 break for Duke. Next, the pass we should discuss. Notice how Zion passes the ball with two hands. Not often do you see this from a ball-handler on a bounce pass (maybe it was a fake from him to try to draw the defender away from Tre Jones). Regardless, bounce passes like that made with pace and accuracy are not particularly common, especially from 18-year-old ball players. He clearly has elite potential as a point forward at the next level and if his showing against Kentucky is any indicator, then he might even be elite RIGHT NOW.
Next up we’ll discuss his athleticism. We’ve all collectively agreed that this is the most impressive part of his game. The pure leaping ability that this man possesses is unfathomable, it’s shell-shocking. And we continue to harp on this, but someone who is 285 lbs should not be capable of doing the things that he’s done. Usually, when a player is that heavy given his height, we’d be talking about it in the weaknesses section. That’s surely not the case here. Zion uses it as his strength.
When Zion puts all of these different facets of his game together, you notice. This particular play shows it all:
There’s not much to say about this play since the video tells the whole story. The athleticism is there. The passing is there. The talent is there.
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and call him the number one draft pick right now. There are still a lot of kinks to work out in his game. For one, Zion does not have NBA range yet, we can confidently proclaim that. He showed us that he can hit the college three-pointer and while that might not ever become great at the college level, it’ll be serviceable. Serviceable is more than good enough given all of his strengths. The shot isn’t broke by any means and he seems to have pretty good form. Since he is so strong, we’d like to see him raise that ball a little more when he is shooting it and not have it sort of rest on his shoulder before going up for the shot.
There aren’t many other weaknesses to note in his game. The shooting is just something he’ll have to consistently work on.
Zion Williamson is a clear-cut top 5 pick in next year’s draft. He’s one of the most electrifying prospects that we’ve seen in recent memory. Zion’s a must-watch player every single time he steps on the court. As the season progresses, we’re surely going to monitor that shot of his as well as his defense. We know how his athleticism helps him protect the rim and grab rebounds that he definitely should not be able to. But, how will he fare at the next level where he’s going to have more one on one assignments on the perimeter? We’ll have to keep a tab on Zion’s on and off-ball defensive techniques as the season moves on.
No matter what, his current skills have us fully invested in Zion Williamson stock.