Tracy McGrady: Duke's Zion Williamson Doesn't Want to Play in Big NBA Market

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2019

Duke's Zion Williamson (1) celebrates after Duke defeated Florida State in the NCAA college basketball championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

While New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers fans may dream that their team will land the No. 1 overall pick for the right to draft Zion Williamson, the Duke Blue Devils star may hope otherwise.

"From what I hear, he doesn't want to play in a big market," Tracy McGrady said of Williamson on ESPN's The Jump on Thursday (around the 1:34 mark):

The seven-time NBA All-Star did not reveal his source.

It's worth noting, though, that Williamson has not expressed reluctance to play for any team. In fact, the 18-year-old phenom recently said he would welcome the opportunity to play in the Big Apple. 

"To the New York fans, I really appreciate the love and support," Williamson said, per Steve Serby of the New York Post. "If the Knicks did draft me, I would love to be there. ... I mean, if they draft me, it'd be an honor to play for them."

That's similar to what he said in December, when he told reporters he doesn't "really care where" he plays:

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If he doesn't want to be in New York, he's doing a good job of hiding his feelings.

Regardless of who lands the No. 1 overall pick, Williamson figures to be the first player off the board in June's draft. The 6'7", 285-pound forward earned ACC Player of the Year honors by averaging 22.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.

Duke went 26-2 with him this season and was just 3-3 while he was sidelined by a knee sprain—including the contest he went down in early against North Carolina on Feb. 20. The Blue Devils won the ACC tournament upon his return and were named the No. 1 overall seed in the 2019 NCAA tournament.

The New York Knicks (14-58) own the NBA's worst record, with the Phoenix Suns (17-55) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-53) not far behind. The bottom three teams enter the draft lottery with equal odds (14 percent) of taking home the top pick.

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