Duke basketball star Zion Williamson is the future No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. From the time he enrolled in college, it was known that he would be a one-and-done player. Because of that, it was never a surprise when he declared for the draft but was that decision an easy one for the freshman phenom?
According to a recent interview, Williamson actually wanted to return to school but he ultimately knew that he had to look out for his best future interests.
“You get this college experience once,” Williamson said. “If you’re in a situation like mine, where you’re one and done, I’m just trying to make the most of what I got. I love Duke, and honestly, I don’t want to leave. If I didn’t have as much at stake, I probably would stay for another year. But I can’t,” Williamson said in an interview with SLAM Magazine.
“(…) This was the best year of my life. So if I could come back for a second year I would, but unfortunately that’s just not the reality we live in. The reality we live in is [that] my ultimate dream is the NBA. It’s what I’ve been dreaming about as a kid so I have to pursue that. And I have to take care of my family.”
In the end, it was the right move for Williamson to make the jump to the league where many believe he will immediately be able to help one of the NBA’s worst teams make a franchise turnaround. The New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns have the best odds to land the No. 1 pick at 14 percent on Tuesday night.
The 2019 NBA Draft takes place Thursday, June 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The draft will be broadcast live on ESPN.