Zion Williamson Officially Declares For Draft

Duke University star forward Zion Williamson, the projected top overall pick, has declared for the draft, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Williamson made his announcement via Instagram.

Williamson was already a minor celebrity entering college due to his highlight-reel dunking ability. He became a breakout star early in his one-and-done season. The 6’7”, 285-pound Williamson scored 28 points in his Blue Devils debut against Kentucky and quickly ended any speculation who would be the likely top pick. The draft lottery will be held May 14.

In 33 games with Duke this season, Williamson averaged 22.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.8 BPG and 2.1 SPG in 30 MPG. He had 24 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and three steals in his last game, an Elite Eight loss to Michigan State.

He’ll immediately be one of the best athletes in the NBA, according to ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony, due to his freakish combination of power, explosiveness, dexterity, coordination and body control. He needs work on his perimeter game (33.8% on 3-point attempts) but that should improve over time.

As the top pick, Williamson would make $9.74MM in his rookie season under the projected cap figures, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. His salary would escalate to $10.23MM, $10.71MM and $13.51MM over the next three seasons for an approximate total of $44.2MM, based on a $109MM cap.

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30 thoughts on “Zion Williamson Officially Declares For Draft

  1. Codeeg

    Would’ve been hilarious if he decided to stay. I mean of course it never ever was going to happen but I like thinking about how screwed some NBA teams would be this summer hoping to draft him.

  2. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    Let’s all close our eyes, click our heels together, and repeat three times, “Zion would look good in Memphis.”

    I can dream, right?

  3. dkcsmc1991

    What GM would possibly pass on this guy? Well maybe LeBron but any other GM?

    • cubfanforever

      The Bulls and GarPax would probably pass because they need a point guard. And they would be idiots if they did.

      • x%sure

        If the Bulls get the #1 they could move down a spot and get something good from the #2 pick team.
        That would take guts!

        Would someone trade ZWill for ADavis and salary?

      • Jeff Zanghi

        What possible scenario would end up with Zion on the Celtics!? They have a bunch of 1st rd picks but NONE of them are even top 10 (most likely… there’s the chance they get a top 8 depending on how the lottery goes but it still wouldn’t be the #1 pick)

        • Codeeg

          There is a 1% chance the Kong’s pick is number 1 which would then go to the Celtics. Impossible yes, but not astronomical.

          • Jeff Zanghi

            Fair haha… but in that scenario I still don’t see them signing KD (they’re already over the cap or right near it assuming Horford exercises his option) Still though as you point out I suppose there is still a .01% chance of both haha

          • D$!LLKU$H-og

            Wrong. If pick goes #1 the Sixers get it. Then the Celtics would receive the Sixers 1st round pick at #24.

  4. Armaday

    Zion is the clear cut first pick overall, but Ja Morant may be the superstar of this litter. He is a triple double machine waiting to explode.

  5. Guest617

    6’7 zion has to play small forward. the leagues always thin at that position, as a slasher he’ll beast on drawing contact. atlanta w/be an interesting landing spot.

    • JonnyLucas

      He can and will be used on all 3 front court positions…. get with the times, positionless basketball is a thing.

  6. JonnyLucas

    Most exciting rookie since LBJ… not saying he will be that good, obviously… he just has so much buzz. Hope he lives up to it!

  7. Thronson5

    If the Knicks get that top pick and land one or two top free agents it is going to be a lot of fun watching them next year. It’ll be fun watching them if they get him regardless but I hope they can land him and at least one big free agent to go with him. Not a Knicks fan but I am pulling for them to turn things around and getting this guy and even just one top pick is definitely a step in the right direction and like I said just even getting him alone is a step in the right direction. As a long time NBA fan, to me, Basketball is more fun when the Knick, Lakers, Bulls and Celtics are doing well and have some star power.

    • x%sure

      That’s just a list of big cities. What does basketball have to do with it?

      • justinept

        Big cities have more people… better teams in big cities means more people watching… more people watching means the league gets more media coverage. Can the league survive without big cities at the top? Sure. But historically, the league is at it’s most relevant when teams in major cities are competing.

        • x%sure

          More people watched GSW-CLE than anyone since the Jordan era, and they were not on the big-city list.
          BTW people were tuning in for Jordan, not Chicago.

          “Relevant”. Haha
          Red Auerbach, Jerry West, Jordan– there is relevance.

  8. mjctrack

    I’ll be honest, call me crazy, but I think he’s gonna be a let down in the NBA, not the mega star everyone thinks he’s gonna be.

    • Jeff Zanghi

      If he fails to develop a better 3-Pt shot… I do think it’s possible he ends up being no where near as good as projected. He can do everything else BUT he’s 6’7″ not 6’11” like Giannis or something. So in order to really reach his hyped up potential I really think he’s going to need a more consistent 3. But if he can nail that down… I think he’ll live up to the hype.

  9. raisethejollyroger

    I didn’t think professionals had any need of declaring. Huge mistake, he was making more at dook than he will in the league.

  10. Like most drafts at the very top. The order is determined by the consensus of the league’s talent evaluators. Group think, in the name of CYA. A team’s own evaluations and needs play only a limited role in who they might select in a given spot at the very top of a draft. Those evaluations might mean one guy over another in the same consensus tier, or be a reason to trade down.

    Staying at #1 and not picking ZW, or at #2 or 3, and not picking one of Morant or Barrett, is likely not a real option for a team’s top executive. Not just job security, but career security. If you vary from consensus and are right, great (although many will attribute it to luck, and wonder why you didn’t trade down). If you vary from consensus and are wrong, you’ll forever be defined by the pick (or non-pick) throughout your industry for the balance of whatever career you have left.

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