The world got its first glimpse of New Orleans Pelicans rookie phenomenon Zion Williamson at the professional level during the recently concluded NBA Summer League, though it was a very brief glimpse given he left with an injury and didn’t play the rest of the summer.
Some folks questioned the Pelicans’ decision to start Zion at the center position. One such man is Gilbert Arenas, who believes Williamson would be at his best as a shooting guard or a small forward:
“I watched NBA summer league and I was very disappointed in the Pelicans decision,” explained Arenas to Landon Buford. “You started this man, who is 6’7 at the center position to give the illusion that he is going to be dominated. When I say illusion, the illusion is I have a 6’7 guard and going play him against the center in order to beat his opponent off the dribble to get dunks. Once, he starts getting dunks everyone is going to say, yeah Zion, but that’s not his position. His position in terms of the NBA is either the two or the three. He is pushing it at the three, but the two is his game for sure.”
Many consider Williamson’s combination of size and athleticism to be extremely impressive, but the fact of the matter here is that he stands at just 6-foot-7. Zion will likely struggle against some 7-foot giants down low if he is tasked to take on the role of a center.
Then again, he is still just 19 years of age, and he supposedly is still growing. Also, while playing center on a full-time basis may be a stretch, suggesting he should be a 2-guard makes very little sense. Playing primarily at power forward while also getting minutes at center and small forward depending on matchups seems like the optimal usage for Zion Williamson, at least for now.