NBA Draft Kit: Zion, Morant Lead 2019 Rookie Class
NBA Draft Kit: Zion, Morant Lead 2019 Rookie Class

This article is part of our NBA Draft Kit series.

 Historically, drafting rookies in fantasy basketball is a fickle game. But in recent years, a number of first-year players have grown into strong fantasy assets in Year 1. Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Deandre Ayton and Jaren Jackson – among others – were all impact players last season, and the 2019 Draft yielded another crop of talented rookies.

Below are seven rookies to consider targeting in drafts this season, as well as a handful of other prospects worth monitoring:

Zion Williamson, Pelicans

Even in a golden age of NBA talent, Williamson's entrance to the league will be marked with more fanfare than perhaps any rookie since LeBron James. Already a one-name star before he turned 17, Williamson was the no-brainer of all no-brainers for the Pelicans with the No. 1 pick, and he'll be the focal point of the franchise's impromptu rebuild after the Anthony Davis trade.

As a freshman at Duke, Williamson was a captivating combination of size, strength and athleticism, pounding the ACC into submission to the tune of 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 blocks and 2.1 steals per game. More impressive yet, Williamson shot 68 percent from the field, including 75 percent from two-point range.

Of course, that incredible level of efficiency isn't sustainable at the NBA level, but Williamson projects as a top-50 – and perhaps much higher – fantasy asset right away. The biggest concerns are his free throw percentage (64% at Duke) and shaky three-point shooting, but Williamson should

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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