After a crushing defeat in the Elite Eight at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans, we have almost certainly seen the end of Duke's impressive freshman. Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Trae Jones are all top NBA prospects and will likely enter the 2019 draft.
Williamson is practically a sure thing to be taken as the number one overall pick in June. He has been tied all season to the worst teams in the NBA including New York, Phoenix, and Cleveland.
A team that has been undersold as a spectacular fit for Williamson all year has been the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta has been impressing the league all season and looks to be on the come up. A piece like Zion would vault this team back into playoff contention.
A lineup featuring Williamson, Trae Young, and John Collins is brimming with both name recognition and star power.
The Duke star averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. per game in his 2019 season.
As of April third, Atlanta has the fifth-best odds to land the top overall 2019 draft pick with a 10.5% chance.
The New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers are all tied with a 14% chance to land the top pick.
Atlanta has been very credible in their rebuild as they have avoided tanking which is a method of losing purposefully in order to receive better odds at a top draft pick. The league has recently added a rule designed to deter teams from tanking which gives the bottom three teams all a 14%chance at number one.
Atlanta has been starving for a competitive basketball team ever since the core of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford was dismantled. There was great pushback on the decision to scrap the roster but there is more hope than ever now with the potential down south.
Although the odds are not necessarily in the favor of Zion landing with the Hawks, the state of Georgia can hope for the dream scenario. Atlanta would instantly be in the conversation for the most exciting team in professional basketball.
The 2019 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, June 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.