Zion Williamson says there's 'high chance' he declares for 2019 NBA Draft

Zion Williamson, whose season ended Sunday when Duke lost to Michigan State in the Elite Eight, now begins preparations for his NBA career.

Or does he? It’s been widely assumed since before Williamson even signed with the Blue Devils that the 6-7 phenom would play one college season then declare for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Following the Blue Devils’ disappointing 68-67 loss one game short of the Final Four, Williamson was asked about turning pro. He said, “I’m not going to make it official,” saying he plans to talk to his parents before declaring his decision.

But he conceded, “There’s obviously a high chance that I’m going to enter the draft.”

It’s certainly not the way Williamson wanted to go out, as the overall No. 1 seed Blue Devils fell short of a national championship. It would have been an inappropriate time for him to make an announcement about his NBA future. There’s plenty of time for that in the coming days — the deadline for WIlliamson and other players to declare for the draft is April 21.

“A lot is obviously going through our minds right now … this group will probably never play together again,” Williamson said.

If — or rather, when — Williamson declares for the draft, he’ll become the heavy favorite to go No. 1 overall (or we could borrow Williamson’s phrase and say there’s a “high chance” he goes No. 1). It’s also been assumed that Williamson’s freshman teammates, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish, will also declare for the draft, and it’s possible all three could go in the top five or so picks.