New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin does not have a playing weight determined for No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson, who looked out of shape and was consequently pulled from the remainder of the Las Vegas Summer League after suffering an injury following a quick stint on the court.
Griffin claims Williamson is still growing into his body and getting taller, which makes it more difficult to assess a right playing weight for the rookie:
“Yeah, I don’t know that we can determine a weight yet. Zion’s still growing,” said Griffin, according to Jeff Duncan of The Athletic. “One of the things that’s lost in this whole process is that, like Jaxson Hayes, Zion is still getting taller. We’re not exactly sure what he’ll look like in the end. So a playing weight is not what you look for. What you look for is to be in top condition, to have the kind of core strength and stability that you need to control all of the incredible torque that his athleticism can generate.
“That’s really where Aaron Nelson and his team are going to focus their efforts, because Zion is one of those kids, like LeBron, he’s not going to lift a weight because he’ll add muscle and weight so quickly. So what you have to do with him is do everything you can from a core and stability standpoint to give him more ability to control what he already has in terms of strength and speed.”
Griffin then noted Williamson will have a personal chef assigned to him, along with a team nutritionist to ensure all he consumes is helping round him into good shape:
“Nutritionally, he’ll certainly be with our nutritionist and we’ll put him in a position to have a (personal) chef,” said Griffin. “As you pointed out, New Orleans is not an easy place to live and eat when you’re a 19-year-old kid and can literally eat anything you want. There can be some temptation there, so we’ll certainly try to put him in a position to be surrounded by more of the right decisions (nutritionally). But, for the most part, we don’t know what he’ll end up looking like because he’s still growing. When he entered Duke he was clearly shorter than R.J. Barrett, and I think you saw (at the Vegas Summer League) he was clearly taller than R.J. Barrett. So it’ll be interesting to see where that goes.”
Zion Williamson was listed at 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds when he entered his freshman season at Duke. He's still only 19 years old and can sprout a few more inches, but given he's five pounds from tying the heaviest player in the league in the 7-foot-4 Boban Marjanovic, he surely has some weight to lose if he is going to last through a grueling 82-game season.