Spurs Lottery Prospect Watch: Zion Williamson

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The Spurs will likely be picking in a similar spot in next year’s NBA Draft as they did this past year — assuming they keep their playoff streak alive — but there was almost a situation where the Spurs could have ended up with a top pick this year. So we are going to make sure we have all bases covered this year. That means we are taking a look at possible lottery picks in case the Spurs get flashy next offseason with a trade. And it’s frankly a good idea to take a look at some guys early in case they fall off and become available later in the draft.

Anyone who follows college basketball or just the sport, even in a very topical sense, knows the name Zion Williamson. He is going to be the topic of a lot of talk both because he’s playing for powerhouse Duke and because he’s been hyped up from all of his highlight reels dunking on dudes. He’s also likely to go in the lottery based on his athleticism alone.

He is listed by Duke as a 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward. For reference, former Spur Boban Marjanovic is 7-foot-3 and weighs 290 pounds. Williamson is built like a tank and still somehow retains a freakish amount of athleticism. He can get up the floor quickly, he can get off the ground quickly and he is absolutely relentless going to the rim. He’s one of, if not the most, physical players we will see this college basketball season. He’s got a few post moves and he makes them quickly to avoid double teams. They usually work, but when he misses those shots he almost always gets his own rebound for a putback jam.

While Williamson is a total anomaly in his stature and athletic abilities, there are plenty of things he needs to work on for the coming season in college. He has to become a much better shooter as his outside shot is inconsistent to say the least and is definitely not a large portion of his scoring. He may not be asked to do that at Duke either since they have Cameron Reddish, Tre Jones and R.J. Barrett to handle most of the outside shooting.

The absolute tank of a freshman is comfortable playing multiple positions, can handle the ball well in both hands and is very comfortable playing at the point when necessary. He’s shown flashes of being a great passer and can pass his teammates open, but he can also be wild at times so we will have to see if Coach K can get that under control for the likely one season he has Williamson on campus.

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