Zion Williamson would be a 'game-changer' for Wizards, D.C. sports

Josh Luckenbaugh
May 08, 2019 - 10:57 am

The NBA playoffs are in full swing, but for the Washington Wizards, the focus is on their GM search and the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery on May 14.

The Wizards have a nine percent chance of landing the top pick, which is almost guaranteed to be used on Duke forward Zion Williamson, one of the most coveted basketball talents of the last decade.

On with The Sports Junkies Wednesday, Ben Standig explained what bringing Williamson to D.C. would mean not only for the Wizards as a team, but for the entire city. 

"From a Wizards' perspective it would be ... a game-changer, on and off the court," Standig said. "Help them win the games, get people in the seats, all that stuff."

"But when you broaden it out to the whole area, when you consider that NBA stars are basically in this country the biggest individual stars we have — they do basically trump all the other pro teams, with maybe the single exception of Tom Brady — that Zion Williamson, he's not LeBron, he's not Curry, he's not Durant. He's that next tier, Day 1 because of what he's done at Duke, because of the potential."

"I have no idea if he'll reach their status as a player, but as an interest he is right there off the bat. And no offense to the (Alex) Ovechkin people, I get it, but the NBA is different and Zion Williamson is a different animal."

Nine percent may not seem like great odds to land the No. 1 overall pick and Williamson, but as Standig explained, the new lottery structure gives Washington a better shot than previous years. 

"Not a spectacular chance, but the top teams only have a 14 percent chance, so it's not that extreme to think that they could actually get lucky," said Standig. "It's both a massive longshot, and yet they're almost on the same plane as everybody else."

But if the Wizards don't beat the odds and get the top pick, don't be surprised if they go for a point guard given John Wall's long-term Achilles injury. 

"It's not that John Wall won't come back. He obviously is gonna be on the payroll with this massive four-year, $170 million contract kicking in, but the level of uncertainty with his injury at this point — I've had people tell me they can't wait on him anymore," Standig told the Junkies. 

"You don't go out of your way necessarily to take a point guard, but if Ja Morant or one of those other guys ... you think is best on the board — sorry, we got to make that move and deal with what happens down the line."

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