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  • Writer's pictureDan Carney

If I Was Zion...

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

If I was 6’7, 280 lbs, and could dunk from the free throw line, then all my problems would be solved. My life has not turned out quite the way I’d like it to after boldly predicting at age 13 that I’d be dunking by Christmas of 8th grade; I haven’t grown, I’ve never dunked (I’ve came close!), and I never married my middle school crush (I never made a move). That’s why at this juncture I am living vicariously through teenage basketball prodigy Zion WIlliamson, who can do everything I can’t including wife up the smoke show I fantasized about when I was an acne-riddled pizza face (Accutane, anyone?). The college star will have plenty of big choices to make in his NBA career, but which team he suits up for as a rookie is not one of them. What if he did have a choice? I’m looking at the five teams with the best chance to land the former Blue Devil and grade each destination.

New York

As a poverty line-straddling temp who eats Subway three times a week, getting tickets to MSG is a luxury to say the least. However, myself and every sports-conscious NYC resident would throw their paychecks at James Dolan just to sniff the nose bleeds of a game where Zion Williamson is in a Knickerbocker uniform. I’ve said this before - a Zion-sized Zion banner outside the arena would be legendary. If he’s drafted to the Big Apple, he’s immortalized before he even steps on the court. However…


-James Dolan is incompetent

-You might get traded for Anthony Davis

-Limited help offensively

But, Pros:

-Play at MSG

-Live in NY

-DSJ lobs

-Knox’s potential

-Play under Fizzy

Destination Grade: B. Would be bonafide “A” without risk of getting traded and playing under the disillusioned Dolan.


“Hello Zion, meet your shadow, ‘LeBron’. He’ll be with you for the next three years, enjoy.” Is that unfair? Yeah, maybe. But was it fair that I was once drug-tested for a job on April 21? Not at all. While there might be some added pressure to fill the MVP-sized hole that LeBron James left in Cleveland last summer, it’s more likely that Cavs fans will simply be happy they have someone on the team to root for again.


-Dan Gilbert is an asshole

-Instability in front office/coaching

-Limited help


But, Pros:

-Collin Sexton

-It’s your team right away

Destination Grade: C-. I wouldn’t want to be the post-LeBron savior, nor would I want to live in Cleveland just to play for a team with nothing to boast outside of The King’s trophy.


See a trend in the worst teams in the league? Unstable head office, coaching carousel, limited team identity. To continue…


-Bad head office

-Coaching carousel

-Nobody to pass you the ball

-Live in a dessert

But, Pros:

-Devin Booker is awesome

-Ayton looks great

-Create your own legacy

Destination Grade: C+. It’ll take more than Zion for the Suns to even sniff the postseason, but this gives him a cast of young guys who can join him in future All-Star games.

Side note: What if Zion sucks in the NBA? Unlikely, but would be sorta funny. Anyway -


Should Zion choose the other proud pizza city? Let’s see if deep dish is worth it.


-Limited depth

-Crowded at the 3 and 4 spots


But, Pros:


-Some star potential in Markennen, Levine, and Carter Jr.

-Historic franchise with winning history

Destination Grade: C. I don’t see this working. Outside of Levine, Chicago’s best players are forwards - it’s not really their weakness. I guess a lineup of Dunn, Levine, Porter, Zion, and Markennen would be kinda cool, but who defends the opposing team’s center?


Trae Young has people talking about the Hawks again, but are they sexy enough to lure Zion down south? *Insert peach emoji here*


-I can’t think of any

But, Pros:

-Trae Young

-John Collins

-Kevin Huerter

-Solid front office/coach

-Proximity to home state South Carolina

-Some roster depth

Destination Grade: A. This is the team I’m choosing if I’m Zion and he got to choose. Even without Zion, this team could make some serious noise in the East within a few years. If they land the number one pick, watch for a playoff series in Atlanta next season.

Follow me on social @danmancarney and SnapChat @dancarneydan

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