Zion Williamson, first overall draft selection for the New Orleans Pelicans has yet to make his NBA regular season debut. In the course of a dazzling pre-season, Williamson began to exhibit the sort of spectacular athleticism and adept playmaking that has drawn comparisons between himself and LeBron James before a knee injury resulted in surgery.
While the initial timetable for Williamson’s return to action was set at 6-8 weeks, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez now reports that Williamson will be held out for an extended period of time, with Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry saying the organization will take an “overly cautious” approach in regards to the rookie out of Duke.
Source: Zion Williamson doing light walkthroughs and some shooting with Pelicans – timeline to make his debut remains contingent on hitting certain metrics. https://t.co/f1w1l7hzCT
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) December 4, 2019
Lopez’s reporting also mentions the fact that Zion is expected to meet certain benchmarks before he returns to the court, with speculation existing around Williamson’s 285 lb, 6′ 6″ frame potentially putting him at higher risks for injury. The Pelicans organization is being deliberate in not wanting to take any unnecessary risks with the asset they feel can best mitigate the effects of losing superstar Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.
During his one season at Duke University, Williamson cemented his place as the nation’s clear-cut premier college basketball player by accumulating averages of 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game over the course of his 33 appearances for the Blue Devils.