Report: Pelicans’ Zion Williamson moving ‘worse than he did in Summer League’
The New Orleans Pelicans have trotted out Zion Williamson twice in a limited capacity. The No. 1 overall pick has been reportedly “pissed” about his short time on the court, but there are a few who believe the 6-foot-6 phenom should not be stepping on the hardwood at all.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, those close to the situation believe the Duke product is clearly not in the right state to play in the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season:
“When you watch him play, he clearly is not in condition to compete at the highest level,” said Windhorst on The Hoop Collective podcast. “As I watched him play two games, I don’t actually think they should have played him at all the way he’s playing. In fact, I talked to a scout who said to me he shouldn’t be out there right in the condition he’s in. He said to me he’s moving worse than he did in Summer League last summer when he got hurt in his first or second game.
“I don’t know if that’s because he’s out of condition or if he has something that they’re not discussing, but this is one of the things the Pelicans have to deal with. This is a guy with a history of knee injuries. This is not right, either because of conditioning or because of something else.
“This is exactly what happened with Jonathan Isaac, this is why these teams are so protective of these young players.”
While it’s understandable that the Pels are being protective of their star player, a 15-minute allotment is usually reserved for star players coming off a really serious injury like a torn Achilles or multiple lower-body injuries in succession (a la John Wall or Derrick Rose).
Couple that with the Pelicans’ insistence in playing him in three-minute bursts, and it sure seems like there’s something not right with Zion Williamson that the franchise has yet to be transparent about. While David Griffin says they’re being this cautious because the rookie left the bubble and missed key ramp-up time, there are still questions about this situation.