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Where does Zion truly rank with all NBA players?

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    ESPN ranked Zion Williamson 42nd in their top 100 NBA Players, and he hasn't even played in an NBA game yet. That's far and away the highest ranking a rookie entering the league has ever got. The previous high was a tie between D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Davis' rookie year, where they ranked 62nd coming into their rookie debuts.

    So the hype is very vaulted for Zion; expectations are higher on this guy than really any rookie entering the game since Lebron. Actually I'm not sure why Lebron didn't show on this ESPN list, maybe they weren't doing the ranking back in '03?

    Anyways, ESPN already considers Zion to be better than Klay Thompson, who came in at #46. And I think that's where it gets tricky. Saying 42nd maybe doesn't sound too crazy until you start looking at the players he would rank higher than. Being above Klay Thompson without ever playing a game after what Klay has done in his career?? I'm not there just yet.

    But of course this ranking is based on overall skill set, what he brings to the table for his new team the Pelicans, and what projection models say he can accomplish in his first year. That all will depend on how well the Pelicans gel this year.

    Lots of new players - Zion of course, then Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram from the Lakers trade. Then JJ Redick. Jrue Holiday remains at guard, Jaxson Hayes at center, Derrick Favors as the power forward and Jahlil Okafor as the other center.. they have some promise as a young team.

    I would say there is possibly enough solid, supporting talent but not super star talent on this team as is for Zion to find his niche and become the true superstar everyone is expecting. It's possible. Problem is the Pelicans were one of the worst teams last year and they play in the super staked West. But now they have basically a brand new starting new line up and walked away from Davis, in hopes that Zion is even better.

    Where would you rank Zion today of all the NBA players? And then we can keep this thread going after his first year and beyond to see if the number goes way up OR way down.

    I would say he should be in the top 100, but probably in the 60's or 70's. Rookies gotta show something first.

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    I don't think Zion should even be considered for the list. He's a rookie.. If they're going to make a "Top 100 NBA Players" list, shouldn't it be strictly for active and maybe past NBA players? It has to be crazy frustrating for someone like Klay Thompson or any of the other actual NBA players that they got surpassed by someone who's never played an NBA game.

    Keep him in the other "Top 100 NBA Prospects" lists until he has a few games under his belt. It seems super disrespectful to throw him in with the others when he has absolutely nothing to show for it himself, let alone the list makers have even less to go on.

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    PowerPlay Wrote:

    I don't think Zion should even be considered for the list. He's a rookie.

    I sorta agree, but the list is for the best NBA players for the 2019 season. Projecting out talent and impact of all players based on how they think they will perform this season. So in that respect I think he should be considered.

    42 is quite high. I'm guessing he is higher ranked than Thompson just because Klay will be out at least 55 games with a knee injury. No way he is better than Klay if Klay was fully healthy.

    If the list was best NBA players ever, there's zero chance Zion would make the top 100. Or even top 200. But if its just for the 2019 season, this makes sense. But I would personally drop him down to around number 75 with super high upside. Because Zion could be a top 20 player by the end of the year, best case scenario. And I think they factored that in when the ranked him in the top 50 - upside vs downside, and gave him the average.