Zion: Star or Bust?

Brady Long 4.30.19
This is Zion Williamson sitting on the bench during a game (Photo: Duke University Athletics).

Many people argue over who is the greatest basketball player of all time. Some people say it’s Michael Jordan, some people say it’s LeBron James, and some people say it’s someone else. Zion Williamson, the star freshman from Duke University is going to leave college basketball to pursue a career in the NBA. Zion is projected to go first overall in ESPN’s mock draft for 2019, and he is all the sports channel talks about now. Everyone thinks Zion Williamson has the possibility to be one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game. Is Zion really that good?

Zion became famous before he played basketball at Duke. In high school, he would post videos of himself on YouTube doing very fancy and difficult dunks which gave him worldwide attention from the media. The NBA has been awaiting for his arrival for years and now they are finally going to get him. Zion is for sure going to be drafted first overall, but the question is which team is going to draft him. The New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns each have the highest percent chance to get the first overall pick in the draft lottery because they have the 3 worst records in the league.

I think the best fit for Zion would be the Cavs, because he can play with their other young star Collin Sexton and build a new franchise that could bring Cleveland a second championship. Zion will fill the gap left by LeBron James, who left the Cavs in 2018 to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Many NBA analysts have compared Zion and LeBron to each other calling their gameplay the same. The question is can Zion can be as good as LeBron? I interviewed Kai Iisaka, a student at Grandview Heights High School, and he said, “It would be amazing if Zion gets drafted by the Cavs.”

Zion averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while shooting 68% from the field in his freshman year (Photo: Duke University Athletics).

Another team that Zion may go to in the draft is the New York Knicks. The New York Knicks have the worst win to loss record in the league this year which is 17-65. Their low record means they could easily land Zion. There has been rumors the past couple months that superstar players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving might go to the Knicks after the end of the season as unrestricted free agents. If these rumors are true, New York will have three brand new and highly skilled players. They could make the playoffs for the first time in years. If Zion doesn’t go to the Cavs or Knicks, he will probably go to the Phoenix Suns. The Suns already have star guard Devin Booker on their team, so they could become even better. The truth is any team that gets Zion could instantly become good.

The thing we have not talked about yet is if Zion does not live up to the hype. What if he ends up being a major bust like Anthony Bennett or Greg Oden? Zion is for sure an amazing player in college basketball, but will he have a good transition to the NBA? Just because Zion was good in college does not mean he will be a good pro player.

Overall, I don’t believe Zion will be a bust, and he will be great NBA player. He could possibly win a few championships and a few MVP awards. That is the legacy Zion Williamson will leave on the game of basketball