Even before he played his first game for the Duke Blue Devils, Zion Williamson was being hyped up as an NBA superstar in the making. Now that his college career is presumably over after the Blue Devils’ loss to the Michigan State Spartans in Sunday’s Elite Eight game, many pundits are expecting the burly, yet versatile and athletic forward to end up as the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. And if a new report is to be believed, Williamson already has an idea of where he would want to play once his professional career gets underway.
According to Fansided site Valley of the Suns, Williamson recently took to Twitter to drop a hint about the team he’d want to be selected by in the upcoming rookie draft. The tweet, which was eventually deleted, was supposedly made after Sunday’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament East Regional final, where the Spartans edged the Blue Devils, 68-67, preventing Duke from advancing to the Final Four.
“This loss is painful. Time to move on. Phoenix is where I want to be. #EverythingHappensForAReason #TimeToRise,” Williamson purportedly tweeted.
As explained by Valley of the Suns, there are multiple reasons why Zion Williamson appears to favor the Phoenix Suns as his preferred NBA destination. These include the strong play of Devin Booker, who has averaged 26.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in 63 games for the Suns. The former University of Kentucky shooting guard was described as a player whose talent cannot be found on any of the other teams favored in the draft lottery.
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Likewise, the presence of last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, Deandre Ayton, was also mentioned as a potential selling point for Williamson. As noted, Ayton is on track to become the first Phoenix player to average a double-double as a rookie and had also made some recent comments about how the Suns could be “unbeatable” if Williamson was on the team.
“For a rookie scoring power forward, the one-two punch of Book and Ayton already in place is perfect,” wrote Valley of the Suns’ Adam Maynes. “Booker, of course, takes initial scoring pressure off of Zion’s shoulders, while Deandre combining with Zion makes the Suns a dominant rebounding team with great passing from the four and five slots to kick-start fastbreaks.”
As of this writing, the Suns have an 18-60 win-loss record, which puts them ahead of the New York Knicks (15-62) as the team with the NBA’s second-worst record. With the draft lottery more than one month away and the actual draft set to take place on June 20, Bleacher Report’s most recent mock draft had Williamson going first overall to the Knicks, followed by the Suns using their presumptive No. 2 pick on Murray State’s Ja Morant and, in theory, addressing their long-running need for a quality point guard.