NBA Draft: How Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett will impact their teams, according to SportsLine projections

Everyone has known for months now that Zion Williamson was going to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and now it's official. After a phenomenal freshman season at Duke, Williamson is now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans

Likewise, the other top three picks went as expected, with the Memphis Grizzlies taking Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick, and the New York Knicks welcoming RJ Barrett to town with the No. 3 pick. All three are expected to have bright futures in the league, but just how much of an impact will they have in their rookie seasons?

SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh ran the projections after the draft to give us an idea of what their rookie stats may look like, and how many wins they'll add to their new squads. 

New Orleans Pelicans

PelicansWinsPlayoff chancesSeedWin ConferenceWin NBA title

Before draft

25.2

0.0%

14

0.0%

0.0%

After draft

34.4

2.5%

13

0.0%

0.0%

Impact

+9.1

+2.5%

+1

--

--

SportsLine projects Williamson to average 18.7 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and shoot 60.4 percent from the field. Of course, the Pels also added two other first-round picks in Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker in their draft day trade with the Hawks. Still, a nine-win improvement is quite impressive, and shows just how impactful Williamson is expected to be in this league.

Memphis Grizzlies

GrizzliesWinsPlayoff chancesSeedWin ConferenceWin NBA title

Before draft

30.7

0.2%

13

0.0%

0.0%

After draft

34.8

3.2%

12

0.0%

0.0%

Impact

+4.1

+3.0%

+1

--

--

SportsLine projects Morant to average 18.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 8.3 assists and shoot 35 percent from 3. Like the Pelicans, the Grizzlies also added a nice first-round pick in Brandon Clarke, so this improvement isn't all about Morant. But the point guard is the driving force here, and the Grizzlies hope he'll prove he can be their point guard of the future after trading Mike Conley.

New York Knicks

KnicksWinsPlayoff chancesSeedWin conferenceWin NBA title

Before draft

17.3

0.0%

15

0.0%

0.0%

After draft

18.2

0.0%

15

0.0%

0.0%

Impact

+0.9

--

--

--

--

SportsLine projects Barrett to average 17.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and shoot 41.6 percent from the field. The Knicks didn't make any other significant additions on draft night like the other two teams, and were also already worse. Still, this is a reflection that the projections don't see Barrett as being quite as impactful as the top two picks. 

It's also important to note that a lot of things will change soon when free agency begins, but this is still an interesting look at how the top picks could impact their teams. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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