It was a matter of time, and a mere formality, but Zion Williamson has officially declared for the 2019 NBA Draft.
The NBA Draft Lottery is just less than a month away (May 14) and the draft will take place in June. A bunch of college players have declared early, but the one everyone has been waiting for has come. On Monday afternoon, Zion Williamson making his decision official via an Instagram post.
Williamson became a viral sensation for his dunking displays in high school, then delivered in his lone collegiate season at Duke. He averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 68 percent from the floor (second in the country).
Williamson took home every major individual award he could. He was the third freshman to win the John R. Wooden Award, while also AP Player of the Year, the Naismith Award and the Karl Malone Award as the nation’s top power forward.
He is the sixth Wooden Award winner for Duke, the most of any school.
Williamson called it the “best year of his life”, while thanking all the usual suspects (family, Coach K, teammates) for their support in his successful freshman campaign at Duke.
He is a virtual lock to go first overall in June, but Blue Devils teammates R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish declared earlier and are both in line to hear their names called within the first handful of picks.
The New York Knicks (17-65), Phoenix Suns (19-63) and Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63) have the best odds to win the lottery and get the No. 1 pick, with the Chicago Bulls (22-60) and carrying the next best chance.
The Atlanta Hawks are the only other team with better than 10 percent odds at getting the No. 1 pick.
One of those top four teams will almost surely win the right to take Williamson, unless the lottery ping-pong balls bounce in such a way to give it to the Hawks, Washington Wizards or New Orleans Pelicans.