New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson may be the best new NBA talent since LeBron James

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New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson has incredible skills for a 6'6", 285-pound player.

NBA fans are seeing possibly the best physical specimen in NBA history. At six foot seven and 285 pounds, Zion Williamson has an explosive 45-inch vertical. Zion has given fans a glimpse at future stardom with his amazing first few weeks of games wherein he has scored 20 points in all but one game so far. He is also leading the surging Pelicans to a possible playoff berth after the team has languished at the bottom of the Western Conference before his debut. 

Williamson’s outstanding athleticism went viral in his high school days. His dunk-contest dunks were routinely performed during actual games guaranteeing him a spot on everyone’s social media feed. His dunking ability aside, Williamson made his name known as a dominant all-around basketball player. This led him to being labeled the number two ranked high school prospect in the nation. 

Williamson made himself known as the best prospect since LeBron James during his time with Duke, averaging 23 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks per game. This was while shooting an extraordinary 68 percent from the field. Although losing in the Elite Eight with easily the best roster in college basketball, Williamson was the consensus top pick in the 2019 NBA draft. 

When the New Orleans Pelicans landed Williamson, videos leaked of the front office chanting “Zion.” After first-year General Manager David Griffin successfully traded Anthony Davis, creating a roster full of young talents, the team was destined for a playoff run. 

With Williamson out for the first half of the season, the Pelicans struggled at the start of the 2019-2020 season. They were missing a high motor defender and off-ball scorer. Since his return, Williamson has provided just that. On the ESPN show First Take, headline commentator Stephen A. Smith went as far as saying that “Everything about [Williamson] points to [LeBron James]. He further expounded “The future is [his].” 

Averaging 24 points on 60 percent shooting is crazy for someone his age. His ability to track down offensive rebounds, especially off his own misses, is easily his most effective means of scoring. However, Zion is able to get out and run at his size. This allows starting point guard Lonzo Ball to rack up easy assists during fast breaks. 

One of the biggest concerns surrounding Williamson was his weight and stability. Being 285 pounds and six feet six is very dangerous for his aerial game. He dunks with ferocious power, comparable to Russell Westbrook, but at 85 pounds heavier. This is very dangerous for his legs, especially the knees and ankles; however, the Pelicans have been very cautious of this and have been monitoring him all season. There will definitely be some weight loss in the off-season, but nothing drastic must be done. 

Although Zion Williamson only has the potential to play half the season, he has still put himself near the top of the Rookie of the Year conversation. Should Ja Morant have to miss games, Williamson could take frontrunner status for that award, and with his recent stellar 35 point performance against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, there is no sign of Zion slowing down.