NBA Draft 2019 Prospect Breakdowns: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, RJ Barrett, and Bol Bol
Zion Williamson: He is a 6’7″, 284 Pound Power Forward/ Small Forward from the University of Duke Blue Devils, and former #2 Ranked Recruit from the 2018 ESPN Basketball 100 Recruit Rankings behind fellow Duke teammate R.J. Barrett.
Strengths: He is an absolute freak of nature of a basketball player who has the height of a wing, strength of a big, and the speed of a guard. He can score in the paint and dunk very easily because of his physical size and strength, also being about to do it efficiently, sitting at 68 FG% as the majority of his buckets come from the paint area. He is also a pretty good defender he averaged around 2 steals and 2 blocks per game at his one year at Duke.
Weaknesses: The Main Red Flag when I look and watch him is that he doesn’t have a jumper he only shot a three 2.2 times per game in college and in today’s game you pretty need a jumper to be real successful in the league, but I am not saying he will fail in the NBA because of a lack of a jumper but for the time being if I was Zion I would try to have playing style like Ben Simmons, Giannis Antetokounmpo or in worse case Draymond Green they can do everything at a high level but just either don’t have a jumper or just a bad jumper but the rest of saves them. The Last Weakness I can point out is his height he is listed at 6’8″ and is playing the Power Forward and that is below the average height for a Power Forward only one key guy I can point out who has been successful right now who is below the average height for a Power Forward so my suggestion to him or to who ever he is drafted to change his position to Small Forward.
Comparison: Blake Griffin (before he built a jump shot), First things first, starting off with the Blake Griffin before he built a jumper comparison. The main reason I give him the comparison of Blake Griffin from 2010-2016, because they are and were both high flyers both could jump out of the gym and put your favorite player in a poster.
Ja Morant: Ja is a 6’3″, 175 Pound Sophomore Point Guard out of the University of Murray State, he was AAU teammate with fellow Draft Class player and #1 projected pick Zion Williamson, but despite playing with him, he would still end up being unranked in the 2017 recruiting class.
Strengths: His Athleticism is probably his best part of his game which is why his athleticism has been compared to other Point Guards like Derrick Rose on the Bulls, John Wall Before Injuries, Russell Westbrook, and De’Aaron Fox. He is also a great Playmaker and has a High Basketball IQ with his 10 Assists per game this past season. He can also be a good rebounder for his size with his average of 6 Rebounds per Game in his two seasons in College.
Weaknesses: The one big weakness that sticks out about his game is that he can get careless with the ball with him averaging 5 turnovers per game last season. He does not have a go to shot, and struggles with touch/shot prep. He also has a slow pull up release, and flusters when contested.
Comparison: Russell Westbrook with slightly better jumpshot. The reason I give Ja this comparison because their playing styles are really similar, like Russell can attack the basket, he’s one of the best at getting his assists, he’s one of the best at getting rebounds for his position, but also has a turnover problem and doesn’t have a great jumpshot. Meanwhile Ja is also great at scoring in the paint, he can get his assists (he led the nation in assists per game), he is pretty good a rebounding for his position grabbing 6 per game for his career in college but was also bad at turning the ball over with 5 turnover per game this past year (nations most) and shot pretty good from three at 36%.
R.J. Barrett: R.J. is a 6’7″, 203 lbs Forward from the University of Duke, and former 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year and being ranked #1 in ESPNs Basketball Top 100 Recruit Rankings in 2018 right in front of 2 of his college teammates: Zion Williamson Ranked #2, and Cam Reddish Ranked #3 in the nation.
Strengths: He is really good at attacking the basket a scoring around the rim at a good rate. He has a pretty good mid range jumper, and he can grab rebounds, averaging 7 rebound per game this past season as a small forward.
Weaknesses: He isn’t really good from three shooting 30%. He isnt a good shooter from the line shooting 66%. He isnt that good on defense averging below 1 steal and blocks per game.
Comparison: Demar Derozan with a bit better 3 point shot.
Bol Bol: Bol is a 7’2″, 236 Pound Center Freshman out of the University of Oregon, he is also the son of the tallest man to ever play in the NBA at 7’7″, and was the 4th ranked prospect in the 2018 ESPN Top 100 Recruit Rankings.
Strengths: The 2 impressive things about his game is that he can shoot really well for how tall he is. As well has great speed for a center unlike other centers in the NBA. Now for probably the best part about him is his shot blocking ability he averaged 2.7 blocks per game at Oregon even though he only played 9 games due to a foot injury that kept him out the rest of the season. Despite his injury concerns, Bol Bol has been really impressive and will be a great pick.
Weaknesses: The two main weaknesses I can see in his game is his foot injury which has scared a lot of teams. This is the main reason he is projected around the mid 1st round, just like Michael Porter last year. The last weakness is his slim frame because for a big man like him that could potentially get taken advantage of by elite shot blockers and paint protectors in the NBA.
Comparison: Kristaps Porzingis, mainly because they can both shoot and block great for the size and position.
What do you guys think about my breakdowns and comparisons? If you have any suggestions on what I can improve on let me know in the comments.