Zion Williamson’s NBA Position Remains Hot-Button Topic

Zion Williamson

Getty Duke's Zion Williamson

In an age of position-less basketball in the NBA, Zion Williamson is a perfect fit.

Williamson showed at Duke that his heaps of athleticism to go with his 6-foot-7, 285-pound frame make him one of the most intriguing prospects in NBA Draft history. He has the ability to throw down a gym-rattling dunk, or can dribble around a guard and make plays for his teammates.

”He’s still only 18 years old,” his coach at Duke Mike Krzyzewski said on his SiriusXM radio show. ”And as good of an athlete — he’s a top percentile athlete in the world, not just in the game of basketball. He’s that level of young man.”

Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 68% and gobbled up just about every National Player of the Year award while becoming a fixture on SportsCenter.

The New Orleans Pelicans are on the clock for tonight's NBA Draft where they are expected to select Duke phenom Zion Williamson number one overall.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesThe New Orleans Pelicans are on the clock for tonight’s NBA Draft where they are expected to select Duke phenom Zion Williamson number one overall.

Where Does Zion Fit In With The New Orleans Pelicans

Zion can do it all, and it would be an absolute shocker if he wasn’t taken No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans. But where does he fit in at the NBA level, specifically with the Pels?

If you ask someone who played against him, like former Virginia guard and fellow top prospect De’Andre Hunter, the answer is simple: everywhere.

”For his size, he can get everywhere he wants on the floor,” said De’Andre Hunter of national champion Virginia. ”He’s just a very strong, dominant player.”

Williamson will likely be listed as a forward at the next level, playing alongside Brandon Ingram, who the Pelicans recently acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Lakers.

Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, Charles Barkley Rockets, Charles Barkley NBA

Charles Barkley

Who Does Zion Williams Compare To In the NBA

But that doesn’t mean he’ll be contained to small or power forward spots. He’s an ideal small-ball center and can even do a bit of ball handling. ESPN listed five comps for Zion’s games when asking the question, “who is Zion at the next level.”

The comps were Draymond Green for his defensive versatility, Ben Simmons for his transition skills, Blake Griffin for his playmaking athleticism, Charles Barkley for his motor and rebounding and Julius Randle for his post scoring style.

Barkley has been among those who has concerns about how Williamson will fit in at the NBA.

“I think the way the game is played now, he’s going to be chasing threes and fours (small forwards and power forwards) on the floor, it’s going to be difficult,” Barkley told USA Today. “I’m smart enough to know as a basketball player, it would have been more difficult for me to defend threes and fours in today’s game, than just getting in the box and beating the hell out of each other. I don’t know if he’s going to be a three or a four, and that won’t be easy.”

His former head coach doesn’t have the same concerns — not one bit.

“He may be an All-Star right away,” Krzyzewski told Yahoo Sports. “There’s no ceiling, really. He doesn’t have a weakness. He may not shoot it as well as he will, but he shoots it well.”

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