In mid-November, it is very difficult to evaluate the NBA Draft. For starters, college players haven’t put a ton of film together, as teams have participated in only a handful of games. Beyond that, it can be difficult to pin down where NBA teams will actually be drafting in the pecking order, and that is particularly true with the now-flattened lottery odds going into effect with the 2019 class.
Still, there is vast intrigue surrounding Duke wunderkind Zion Williamson and Chris Stone of the Sporting News pegged the exciting youngster to the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 1 overall pick this week.
Williamson’s teammate RJ Barrett started the season as the top prospect on our Big Board, but if things continue apace, there’s a good chance he’ll be displaced Williamson himself. The 6-7 forward has been phenomenal to start the season, averaging 27.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 3.0 assists per contest through two games.
At just 18 years old, Williamson possesses unmatched athleticism, an impressively high basketball IQ and the ability to generate efficient offense even without a consistent jumper. Pairing him with Trae Young in Atlanta would be a joy.
It goes without saying that it is more likely than not that the Hawks will not have the No. 1 pick. In addition, there is at least some competition for Williamson (namely in teammates R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish) for the top selection.
Still, Williamson is a sensation for a reason and he reminded everyone of his absurd athleticism on Wednesday evening.
As Stone notes in his write-up, Williamson has been obscenely productive in the early going and, frankly, it will be interesting to see how his season-long numbers stack up as things continue to unfold. Some of the big questions with Williamson have already been alleviated with the perimeter acumen he has displayed and, if his shooting holds up, it now feels likely that Williamson will be the No. 1 overall pick, even in a field that does have other elite talent available.
It is too early to get overly excited about the potential of a Williamson-Young pairing in Atlanta for a number of reasons. That won’t stop anyone from dreaming about it, though, and mock drafts can fuel the fire.