The Phoenix Suns are already in tank mode, which means it’s time to take a look at the draft’s top prospect: Zion Williamson.
With the Phoenix Suns seemingly gunning for the number one pick for yet another
season, it is a good idea to look into some future players to add to an already impressive young
core. One such player is none other than Zion Williamson.
Williamson has been an Instagram phenom since the beginning of high school, throwing
down ridiculous dunks in game and dominating everyone in the South Carolina prep circuit. He
has since transitioned to dominating everyone in the NCAA, and his team Duke looks poised for
a tournament run. But even more intriguing than his current season, is the potential that he has
as a player in the NBA.
As a player, there are very few to compare to Williamson. He is a 6-7 athletic freak, that
almost pauses in the air. In combination with that he has light feet, and an explosive first step,
which paired with ambidextrous finishing makes him almost unstoppable going to the rim. This
athleticism then also allows him to be an aggressive contributor on the defensive end, with an
ability to get up and block most shots at the rim.
However, below the surface of Williamson is small details that would make him an
excellent prospect for the Suns. Phoenix is 29th in the league in team rebounding, and 28th in
offensive rebounding. This snowballed with low shooting percentages has seen a stagnate in
the Suns offense, especially without Devin Booker. However, Williamson immediately plugs
some of those holes.
Williamson is averaging 17.6 total rebounds per 100 possessions and 13.4 rebounds per
game per 40 minutes. He crashes the boards and would help the Suns both secure the end of
defensive possessions, but also can take those boards and get out in the open court to get
easier buckets on the fast break. This will help move the Suns out of the bottom third in the
league in pace and help them move out of the worst offensive rating in the league.
That offensive rating would also be helped by Williamson transitioning into the half
court. Right now, the Suns rely heavily on Booker in order to begin the motion in their offense,
which shows when a motion-based offense is middle of the road in assists. With another
perimeter ball handler that can get his own shot, Booker will be able to find shots with ease. It
will also take pressure off of players like Josh Jackson, and Malik Bridges, who may not be ready
to be shot creators yet.
The Suns also do need massive help defensively. Both cornerstones of the franchise,
Deandre Ayton and Booker, have shown little to no defensive inclination, and Jackson’s lack of
offense makes it hard to play him for his defense to shine. Williamson would again be a major
With Williamson’s footspeed, rolls from the big man to the basket will be more
covered as Williamson would be on rotation from either corner. This would then let Ayton and Booker have more room for defensive mistakes, maybe to a lesser extent of what Robert Covington’s addition has done for Karl-Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins defensively.
Williamson also has versatility, which is something that you can’t value enough in the
modern NBA. He can realistically guard anyone from the point guard to the power forward and
switch most things. This coupled with hopeful development in players like Bridges and Jackson,
will then allow for an extremely versatile, lengthy, athletic group of wings. This would then
again help on the poor defense we’ve seen this year.
The last positive that Williamson brings to Phoenix has nothing to do with winning. It is
the fact that he is simply exciting. This franchise needs an injection of energy and excitement
that Williamson would bring with the dunks, rebounds and ridiculous athleticism. He would
make the Suns officially relevant for the first time since seven seconds or less, and could prove the
turning point for this young roster.