Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant studies the game and its history as much as any top player in the NBA today. That's why his praise of New Orleans Pelicans young forward Zion Williamson as a "one of one"-type of talent speaks volumes about the kind of ability he believes the 22-year-old possesses.

"You've seen guys at that size, 6-7, that can get up and down the floor and move, but not at that level, though," Durant said after Monday's practice. "You've seen guys like Jason Maxiell, I'm not saying they jump as high as Zion, but they were undersized guys that played bigger. And Zion's one of those guys. Rodney Rogers -- I'm missing so many guys that were that tall at 6-6, Charles Barkley bruiser-type guys but played bigger. But Zion's athleticism trumps all of theirs by far. And when you add that to the mix, it makes him a one of one."

The Nets play against Williamson and the Pelicans in their regular-season opener Wednesday night at Barclays Center.