Zion Williamson

Position: PF                        From: Duke                        Class/YOB: Freshman

Height: 6’7                         Weight: 285                        Wingspan: 6’10

Strengths:

  • Generational athleticism. Tremendous leaping ability, terrific body control, and good agility despite his size. Will be one of the top athletes in the NBA from day one
  • Powerful, highly developed frame. He’s built like a defensive lineman, but still manages to stay light on his feet. Defenders will struggle to move him off his spot
  • Relentless finisher in and around the paint. Elevates over length and finishes to and through contact. Can contort his body for acrobatic layups or dunk with force above the rim. Once he gets to the paint, you can pretty much book it
  • Instinctive playmaker who finds the open man. Advances the ball in transition and makes the extra pass off of penetration.
  • Versatile defender with lockup potential. Moves his feet, anticipates well and has the strength and quickness to eventually switch among all five positions. Really special off-ball defender, getting in the passing lanes and protecting the rim as a help defender
  • Energetic rebounder on both ends. Seeks out missed shots, especially on the offensive end where his quick jump allows for putbacks
  • Improving ball-handler. Doesn’t have a lot of advanced moves, but he only needs a step to put defenses at a disadvantage. Utilizes crosses and change of pace dribbles well to blow past defenders. Still has work to do, but playing the four, he won’t necessarily need a deep package of dribbling moves.
  • Potential to be a consistent post-up weapon. Bullies college defenders on the low block and is reliable scoring over his right shoulder. Has nimble footwork. Developing counter moves will allow for easy buckets when the game slows down.
  • Great teammate. Plays with a joy and unselfishness that is infectious. Could change the team’s culture with the way he goes about his business. Competes all over the court and has an endless motor

Weaknesses:

  • Jump shot is not a threat right now. Has a set shot that is fairly repeatable, but there isn’t much elevation or consistency on it. He takes a couple threes a game, so it’s not like he is afraid to shoot them. Pull-up game is non-existent, limiting his scoring to at-the-rim or wide open threes with time and space. Teams will sag off and load up the help around the lane until it becomes a more consistent shot
  • Can struggle with length as a ball-handler. Doesn’t have the craftiness right now to shake defenders off the bounce. Rangy wings can disrupt his rhythm
  • Can occasionally be too reliant on his athleticism on both ends. Gets out of position defensively at times trying to jump passes, creating 5 on 4 opportunities. Has a tendency to go too deep on penetration seeking contact, leading to contested layups and charge opportunities instead of open 5 footers. Not a problem in college, but NBA length may require more creativity around the rim
  • Left-hand dependent on finishes
  • Will he be able to maintain long-term durability at his size? An explosive player carrying 285 pounds is going to take plenty of hits with his play style. He’s the most physically imposing prospect since Shaq, so I don’t question if he can handle the beating. But that run-and-jump style could take a toll on his body.