In the course of the 2020-21 NBA season, Zion Williamson averaged 27.0 PPG (61.1 FG%), 7.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, 0.9 SPG and 0.6 BPG whereas enjoying in 61 of the Pelicans’ 72 video games. Beginning the season at 20 years outdated.
The issue? Within the different two full seasons that Zion has been within the NBA, he is performed a complete of 20 out of 154 potential video games, together with zero final season.
Now 22 years outdated, Zion is reportedly within the “greatest form of his life.” He is simply signed a max rookie extension this offseason. He is nonetheless the marquee participant on a Pelicans workforce with official playoffs buzz this season.
However, the place must you draft him in your fantasy basketball league?
Ooh. That is a tricky query.
Zion has the potential this season to be a greater and extra productive participant than he was throughout his sophomore marketing campaign two years in the past. He nonetheless has his unmatchable explosion/girth combo that makes him one of the crucial tough gamers within the NBA to protect, however he has additionally had time to mature bodily and emotionally, and he is had one other full season across the sport to work on his craft.
Nevertheless, the Pelicans additionally had a full season to get used to enjoying with out him. In that season, Brandon Ingram blossomed right into a full-on NBA star, able to averaging 27.0 PPG, 6.2 APG and 6.2 RPG throughout the playoffs with a Utilization proportion above 29 in each the common and postseason.
Additionally they introduced in CJ McCollum in a late season commerce that revitalized the workforce and led to their postseason push. McCollum averaged 24.3 PPG and 5.8 APG in 26 common season video games with the Pels. McCollum and Ingram averaged 37.1 mixed discipline purpose makes an attempt within the season, and a whopping 40.5 FGA throughout the playoffs.
Whereas it may be argued that having gifted teammates ought to make it even simpler for Zion to attain, effectivity was by no means the problem. He already shoots over 60 % from the sector. However, it is arduous to think about him getting the utilization he’d have to match even the 27 and 4 he common two seasons in the past, not to mention exceed it. His quantity is capped by the necessity to share the rock.
And, then there’s the elephant within the room… well being. Zion has suffered a decrease physique harm that has saved him out for large swathes of video games in three of the 4 seasons he is performed post-high college, together with his one season at Duke. The mount of explosiveness he generates at his huge dimension generates unimaginable quantities of torque and forces on his decrease extremities, that may be pathological if his leaping kind is not exact sufficient.
Stephania Bell has finished an exquisite job of breaking that down over the previous few years, and it holds true this yr as nicely. At this level in his profession, fantasy managers simply have to simply accept that he will be an harm danger.
On a per-game foundation, Zion’s manufacturing ought to land him within the top-25 of fantasy producers, and that is conservative. However, with the dangers and upside cap that he faces this season, I am unlikely to draft him earlier than the fifth spherical of (m)any leagues. Because of this I am more likely to miss out on having Zion on (m)any of my groups, as a result of his ADP can be increased than that. With every week left in September, it is presently at 29.6.
However, I would fairly have piece of thoughts. I swung for the fences with Zion on a number of of my groups final season, and struck out. Blended baseball metaphor apart, I am unlikely to danger getting burned once more. Idiot me as soon as, disgrace on you. Idiot me twice… I am unable to let myself get››› fooled once more! I could miss out on a magical season from Zion, however I am content material to let another person take the chance/reward plunge.
All that stated, if it is the fifth spherical and Zion remains to be sitting there as a result of everybody else can also be afraid to draft him? Signal me up! I am going to take a crack at a possible first-round decide sort of season if I can get him with my fifth decide. That is a possible league-winner, if issues go the appropriate approach.