Chicago Bulls: Can Zion Williamson play small forward?

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls are in the hunt for Zion Williamson and if he comes to Chicago, can he play small forward?

The Chicago Bulls are in contention not for the playoffs, but for Zion Williamson and the number one overall pick. The Bulls are currently at a record of 10-31, which has them ranked as the fourth worst team in the NBA.

All eyes are on Zion and if he does come to Chicago, it would be best that he plays at the small forward spot. With a crowded frontcourt led by Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls would need to put Williamson at the small forward position.

Now you might be wondering why the small forward spot? Zion is 6-foot-7 and 284 pounds, and that’s too big of a man to play that position. Actually, it’s not. This kid has been compared to LeBron James multiple times and their physicality is so similar. Lebron James is 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds.

If Zion is indeed the next incarnation of LeBron, then Zion can play positionless basketball. James has played small forward and point guard. We are in an age of positionless basketball according to Dave Zirin, a sports editor for the Nation. When I asked him in an email interview if Zion could play small forward, he said said as much:

"“We are in an age of the positionless player. Whether Zion can play [small forward] or not is less important than if he can stretch defenses and guard the pick and roll. For someone of his prodigious talents . . . he can do anything on the court. And what he can learn and do it as well as anyone else. When you have a prospect like this, you don’t care where you slot him. Just feed him his minutes.”"

It’s true. With all of these comparisons to James, why don’t we consider another comparison? A small forward for the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo. That man has changed the franchise of Milwaukee from rebuilding to a contender. So why can’t Zion instantly change a culture and competition level?

Giannis is a good comparison, because of the argument that Zion is a bad perimeter shooter. That may be, but Giannis is a small forward, who cannot hit a consistent perimeter shot, and is one of the top candidates to win the Most Valuable Player Award. Giannis has a career 26.9 shooting percentage from behind the arc and is only at 16.7 percent this year according to BaskeReferencefrence.

Zion can still play small forward and not have to be relied on for his perimeter shooting.

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Whether he develops over time or not doesn’t matter. If the Bulls draft Zion, he can most definitely play the small forward spot. He would be the Bulls version of Giannis, which should excite Bulls fans. A lineup of Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, Zion Williamson, Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn can set up the Bulls for the long run.