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.
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.
The injury bug is something else that we need to discuss. Zion’s knee injury during this season was scary and one that was just unpredictable. That’s sometimes what happens with players of his size. His knee is going to be something to monitor as he begins his NBA career.
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 the clear-cut top pick in this 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. We know how his athleticism helps him protect the rim and grab rebounds that he definitely should not be able to. But, how will that translate? We think it will translate perfectly, but there’s always doubt in evaluations.
No matter what, his current skills have us fully invested in Zion Williamson stock.