The no-brainer of no-brainers here as the New Orleans Pelicans land Duke’s Zion Williamson with the top overall pick after leaping from a projected No. 7 spot in the lottery.
Williamson was in Chicago for the NBA Draft Lottery last month, but exited before the combine, leaving the NBA to consider the 45-inch vertical leap he pulled off at Duke’s mini-combine event last summer.
In our last Mock Draft published in April, I referred to Williamson as an evolutionary Charles Barkley — bigger and more athletic than the 1980s-1990s Hall of Famer, but the next step in what a superstar 4 could be despite not having the ideal height measurements.
He makes up for that 6-foot-6 height with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and is as polished a one-year college player to come into the NBA in a long time.
The only question about Williamson is whether or not he would be better off dropping 15-20 pounds of bulk to ease some of the pressure 280 pounds will put on the legs over the course of an 82-game regular season grind.
But presuming New Orleans’ new management team of vice president of basketball operations David Griffin and general manager Trajan Langdon keeps the pick, Williamson could be the next potential superstar for the Pelicans to build around, with Anthony Davis not relenting on his trade demand.