J.J. Redick has been around plenty of great basketball players in his career. From Duke to the NBA, he’s had the opportunity to play with and against some current and future Hall of Fame players. When you’ve been around that much talent, it becomes a lot easier to notice when someone is different.
Redick recently went on ESPN’s Get Up to discuss life without basketball, if he thinks the season will be able to restart, and of course, Pelicans teammate Zion Williamson. Considering Redick’s background, it’s worth listening to him when he says that Williamson isn’t just the average rookie. Instead, he thinks Williamson has Hall of Fame potential.
“An NBA MVP, first-team All-NBA, a Hall of Famer and a guy who leads teams to championships,” Redick said. “I think that’s his ceiling. He hasn’t even come close, really, to scratching the surface, and as his skill level develops, as the game slows down a little bit for him, he’s going to be even better, which is scary, for sure.”
What’s wild about this quote is that Williamson has barely played. He has 19 NBA games under his belt, and while he’s been spectacular, it sounds absolutely ludicrous to put him at a Hall of Fame level this early in his career. Then you watch him and look at the highlights and you can see that he’s capable of doing some really special stuff at such a young age.
Williamson has the kind of skillset that, as long as he avoids injury, is going to lead to an incredible career. His size and skill are really special, and once he puts it all together and really understands how to best utilize his gifts in the NBA, he has the potential to do things we’ve never seen before. His teammates like Redick can already see that, and soon, everyone else will, too.