Zion Williamson has opened his NBA career on fire. The New Orleans Pelicans' rookie star has exploded since he finally made his debut in late January and is putting up some huge numbers. If the 19-year-old continues to improve, he's setting himself up as an all-time great.
Yeah, it's early and we're just nine games in to Williamson's career, but the tear he's on is wildly impressive. He's averaging 21.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 27.0 minutes per game. He's also shooting 57.6 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from 3-point range. The Pelicans have also won five of their last seven games as his minutes have increased.
Now it's time for the historical stuff, which is truly impressive. Zion is the first player in the last 30 years to record seven 20-point games in his first nine career games.
Tuesday night, Williamson finished with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists in just 28 minutes. By doing so, he became the first rookie since the NBA-ABA merger to post a 30-point, five-rebound, five-assist game in 30 or fewer minutes.
Finally, he's averaging 20-plus points and 50-plus percent shooting. The last five players to do that are all in the Hall of Fame (Grant Hill, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson and Ralph Sampson). That's quite a group to be associated with.
Am I saying Zion is sure to be a Hall of Famer? Absolutely not. But the numbers he's put up since his debut are pretty incredible. He's a natural scorer on the interior who is nearly impossible to defend because of his athleticism and physicality. He's shown the ability to step out on the floor and hit shots and he's a terror on the glass. Oh, and did I mention he's only 19? He's only going to get better.
If Williamson can stay healthy, the sky is the limit for what he can do on a basketball floor.