Why is Zion Williamson Potential Defensively not Discussed More?

Let’s be honest, the NBA is centered around offense these days; nobody cares if you can defend like Roberson or Gobert… They want to see you shoot from deep like Steph or throw it down like LeBron. Zion Williamson can throw it down like LeBron and recently showed off his new and improved set shooting with an infamous off-season “drill video” at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Zion Williamson weighed in at 285 pounds, standing at  6’7″ which is a whopping number not just for an 18-year-old but for an NBA player. If Zion entered the league it would only be one player that weighed more then him and he stands at 7’3″ Boban Marjanovic(290 pounds).

Zion is not only an undersized player, he is an unusual player for the Duke system. He does not seem to fit the typical mold of Duke basketball but fits in today’s NBA of positionless basketball. Williamson’s versatility will come offensively as he gains experience, he has the athleticism already and he has the slashing ability. It will all be based on how well his shot develops that determines whether or not he will be a threat offensively. Duke might go through the “Kentucky effect,” where we are not able to see how well Zion might play offensively with Duke having four out of the top five recruits coming in this season. But defensively Zion with his size and athleticism could become a monster.

With his speed and length, he will be able to join an elite class of NBA defenders in the league like Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, that is able to guard all five positions due to their speed, length, and motor. Williamson is underrated rebounder on both ends of the ball, due to him being able to get off his feet so quickly and I see this attribute benefiting his offensive and defensive game drastically. He checks off every box for a small ball five, and that will favor well with his NBA draft stock next year. The key to Williamson becoming an elite defender will be his footwork, he already has the potential speed to stay in front of smaller players, when he switches on P&R there are multiple tendencies he has to pick up on to become a solid defender and be able to consistently play in the NBA.

Zion Williamson has shown potential flashes of greatness offensively, being undersized in the NBA in this small ball era it’ll be defensively where Zion will earn his money.

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