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Shaquille O’Neal Says He Would Build A Franchise Around No. 44 Pick Bol Bol Over Zion Williamson

Shaquille O’Neal Says He Would Build A Franchise Around No. 44 Pick Bol Bol Over Zion Williamson

Shaq Says He Would Take Bol Bol Over Zion Williamson

The 2019 NBA Draft finally arrived on Thursday night and the first three selections of the night went as expected, with the Pelicans selecting Zion Williamson, Grizzlies going with Ja Morant and the Knicks with RJ Barrett. The first three picks of the night were a no brainer, but people believe there were players who deserved to be drafted in a higher spot than the one they got.

One of those was Oregon center Bol Bol, the No. 44 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, a player who many, including the former NBA player turned-analyst, think deserved a better spot in the lottery. In fact, O’Neal dared to say that he will select Manute Bol’s son over the Pelicans new star Williamson to build a franchise.

"I don't even think I go with Zion," O'Neal told Complex in a pre-draft interview when asked who he'd build a team around. "Believe it or not, I'd go with Bol Bol. Him and Shareef are friends and I've seen the potential what this kid can do. For example, when I was his coach in AAU, we never lost. He's got it all. He's (7-2), can shoot, dribble, can pass. Nobody really knows it because he was always hurt."

Albeit Shaq can say that after he saw Bol playing closer than everybody else when the 7-foot-2 big man played with his son, Shareef O'Neal, on the same AAU team, California Supreme, which O'Neal helped coach a couple of years ago. Bol averaged 21.6 points and 9.6 rebounds in nine games with the Ducks before suffering a season-ending foot injury which gave scouts nearly no chances to see the Sudanese-American player display the best of his game.

Talking about Williamson, the former Orlando Magic player was a little more critical, even stating that Zion’s transition to the league would be similar to his, as Shaq had to develop more tools to score and help his team than just dunking the ball.

"Zion is dunker, dunker, dunker, dunker," O'Neal said. "He ain't gonna be able to do all that (in the NBA). I was the man in high school. I was the man in college. As soon as I got to the NBA, I was No. 50. Seriously, there was (Charles) Barkley, (Michael) Jordan, (Scottie) Pippen. So I had to start (improving). I know (Williamson's) a powerful dunker, but he's going to have to develop something else."

Notwithstanding, both players are starting their journey in the association and we have to wait to see which one fares better than the other. As for now, it looks like Shaq already has a favorite between Williamson and Bol, and the Oregon product is set “to prove everyone wrong,” as he told ESPN.