CHICAGO — Zion Williamson is the most impossible player to guard in this year’s draft class. And in one way, his coveted elusiveness was on full display at last week’s .
After showing up for lottery night to watch the Pelicans win the draft lottery on Tuesday, Williamson was NBA-assigned meetings with teams the following day and left town, choosing not to go through in workouts, scrimmages or measurements at the combine on Thursday or Friday.from the scene, his full reaction to the madness disappearing into the shadows. Williamson then fulfilled his
Williamson wasn’t the only player to pull a disappearing act like Criss Angel in the Windy City. And let’s face it: for him, there are zero ramifications for such a move. Whether he attended the combine or a Cubs game, he’s still expected to be the first prospect called by name on draft night next month by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Most players have a draft range — a section of selections where they are projected to be taken by an NBA team — but Williamson’s is just a number: No. 1. Playing in scrimmages would have been interesting (and a circus with most league executives in town to watch), but ultimately it would have been silly. He had nothing to gain and much more to lose.
Not every player has a single number draft range, though. Ja Morant is likely to be drafted between the No. 2 and No. 4 picks, for instance. RJ Barrett is also likely to fall between No. 2 and No. 4, just like Morant. But the rest of the field figures to be largely up for grabs. Some enigmatic prospects could be drafted between No. 5 and No. 25, others between No. 11 and No. 20. Opinions vary on different prospects dependent upon projected value and upside.
After workouts, scrimmages, agility drills and interviews this past week at the combine, the order seems to be shifting like soil atop a fault line. After scouting the 60-plus players firsthand in Chicago, we’ve formulated an up-to-date first-round mock draft with the latest evaluations.