Zion Williamson, the 6’7″ forward from Duke, is one the NBA’s most exciting prospects ever. He led Duke to the elite eight in the NCAA tournament after an incredible season averaging 22.6 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game on 68% shooting. Lottery teams are doing whatever it takes to even have a chance at landing Zion.
ESPN came out with their top destinations for Zion Williamson and even they had Atlanta as the best option. Zion fits in perfectly with our system. After the addition of Trae Young, Atlanta was number 1 in the entire NBA in pace. A lot of Zion’s game also relies on his speed in transition. When in transition, Williamson is nearly unstoppable with how fast and strong he his at his size. The Hawks would almost undoubtedly lead the league in pace again with Zion running the floor.
Atlanta would be the new “Lob City” if they can acquire Zion Williamson. Defenses wouldn’t know what to do against the pick and roll between Trae and Zion. This past season, defenses double teamed Young almost every possession. With Zion on the court, they definitely can’t do that. Trae’s magnificent court vision would allow him to easily find Zion for an easy basket if they continue to double him. Teams might even be too concerned about Zion and double team him, leaving Trae wide open to score. The attention that Williamson would draw could lead defenses away from John Collins as well. Collins could sit in the corner and wait for the pass after proving he could consistently knock down threes last season, or he could cut and Trae could lob it up for an easy alley-oop. Zion would open up the floor for everyone. Williamson could also really improve his off ball scoring and his shooting with Atlanta. With Trae driving and kicking, Zion could potentially turn into a pretty good long range shooter just like John Collins did.
With as big of a name Zion Williamson has, he could also draw the attention of other big name stars. Players would love to play with Trae and Zion in Atlanta. The NBA would benefit from this as well. The city of Atlanta is one of the biggest television markets in the country. They could air Hawks games on ESPN or TNT and get insane amounts of views because people would want to watch Zion and Trae. Atlanta would certainly live up to it’s nickname of “Hotlanta.”
The Hawks would have their foundation for at least the next ten years. We would be contenders as soon as Zion gets here. In a few years, we could definitely have a title run. Atlanta would have the tools to build a dynasty. The Hawks could be the next Chicago Bulls, the next San Antonio Spurs, or the next Golden State Warriors. If the Atlanta Hawks could somehow land the number one pick and get Zion Williamson, the league better be prepared because the Atlanta Hawks are up next.
ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, www.espn.com/nba/hollinger/teamstats/_/sort/paceFactor.
“Zion Williamson College Stats | College Basketball at Sports.” Reference.com, www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/zion-williamson-1.html.
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Jared Schmehl | @SchmehlJared Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG