May 9, 2019
NBA Rumors: Zion Williamson Might Not Be A Good Fit For Phoenix Suns As Prospective No. 1 Pick, Per 'ESPN'

Duke forward Zion Williamson may be considered by pundits as the odds-on favorite to get picked first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, but as most NBA fans would know, some teams turn out to be better suited for a blue-chip rookie prospect than others. The Phoenix Suns are one of three teams that have a league-best 14 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick in next week's NBA Draft Lottery, but as far as being a good fit for Williamson is concerned, they apparently rank a mere 11th among the 14 NBA teams that will be taking part in the lottery.

On Tuesday, a subscriber-only article from ESPN featured draft experts Bobby Marks, Jonathan Givony, Kevin Pelton, and Mike Schmitz, who ranked all 14 lottery teams in terms of how likely they are to help Williamson reach his full potential in the NBA. As cited by AZCentral, Marks noted that the Duke superstar could potentially find the "stability" that proved to be elusive to Suns shooting guard Devin Booker, as former Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams recently agreed to sign a five-year contract. In contrast, Booker has had a total of five coaches on the Suns since he entered the NBA in 2015.

While Zion Williamson could benefit from a comparatively stable coaching situation if the Phoenix Suns draft him first overall, Marks cautioned that the team still needs a point guard first and foremost. He explained that the Suns' point guard woes particularly stifled last year's No. 1 overall selection, Deandre Ayton, who nonetheless had a productive rookie season as he averaged 16.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists for a 19-63 Suns team.

"On most nights Ayton would be a spectator on the offensive ends, often having to create for himself," Marks wrote, per AZCentral. "Of Ayton's 362 made field goals, 142 were assisted by Booker or forward Josh Jackson. The Suns do not have cap space this summer to address that need at lead guard, and they will have to explore the trade or midlevel market to fill the void."

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks, which have a 10.5 percent chance of getting the first overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, per Peach Tree Hoops, were ranked by ESPN's panel as the best potential fit for Williamson. According to Arizona Sports, ESPN's experts opined that the versatile 6-foot-6-inch, 285-pound forward could be very productive if paired with the likes of incoming second-year point guard Trae Young, as well as another up-and-coming youngster, forward/center John Collins, who came close to averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in the 2018-19 campaign, his second season in the league.