The most hyped player coming into the draft since LeBron James. Ever since high school, Zion has been in the spotlight. From viral dunk videos to Drake wearing his jersey, Zion has become a household name. He dominated his first year at Duke, gathering multiple accolades while coming up one game short of a final four appearance. Every major draft analyst seems to agree that he’s the consensus first overall pick.
The 2019 NBA Draft lottery bought about a new day for the New Orleans Pelicans, who won the Zion sweepstakes by picking first in this year’s draft. After all the trade deadline talks between Davis and the Lakers. Will drafting Zion be enough to convince Davis to stay and try to win with Zion?
Will they draft him?
This is a dumb question at this point. Zion is pretty much a lock to be the number one overall pick. The New Orleans Pelicans need Zion not only to keep their star player Anthony Davis but also for these three reasons.
First and foremost, the NBA and its franchises are all in the business of making money. With Zion on your roster, the money-making potential can have an epic impact on the franchise and perhaps even a city. If he does turn out to be a LeBron type of talent, you can expect the franchise and the city to benefit financially from each and every home game. From the concession stands in the arena to the local bars around the stadium, it can really help stimulate a cities economy. New Orleans is known to have a legendary bar scene, with Zion in town expect more people at the games even during Mardi Gras.
The athletic ability that Zion has displayed in high school and college is astounding considering his size. If he stays at the weight he is now, he will be the second heaviest player in the league. He is listed at 285 pounds yet he has a 45 inch vertical. His jump shot needs some work as it was never really consistent in college as Zion could get by purely athleticism. At worst he is Larry Johnson, an all-star who was big and athletic like Zion and at best he is a combo of LeBron and Barkley.
Attracts other players to play with him:
Most teams know that if you want to be competitive in this league you need to surround your superstar with talent. With the likes of Golden State, Philidelphia, Houston and others, you can’t do it on your own anymore. Zion was a great team player while at Duke. He was unselfish and never really seemed to get an ego. His love for the game is apparent and his great attitude can attract other top players in the league to join forces. If the Pelicans win over Zion during the course of his rookie deal, Zion could stay. If Zion continues to get better on the court and attracts free agents to NOLA, the Pelicans can finally say they have built a competitive roster. If AD buys in, this team could be a playoff contender for a long, long time.
What position will he play?
Zion is truly a positionless player. He is 6’7 and played as an undersized power forward in college but showed great enough ball handling to run the point. I see him fitting in a point forward-type role where he will almost always bring the ball up the court and take some of the pressure away from AD and don’t forget about Jrue Holiday, who is no slouch himself.
Zion is something we’ve never seen before. A 6’7 285 pound athletic freak who can jump out of the gym. The Pelicans can expect to be much improved come the start of the season.