Zion Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, was always expected to have a big future ahead of him. Heading into his third season, Williamson is living up to the expectations too literally.
According to sources from within the New Orleans Pelicans, Williamson is currently walking around at 300 pounds.
Per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, “[S]everal league personnel on hand were struck by his heavier appearance than his listed playing weight last season of 284 pounds.”
The phenom out of Duke has often been praised for his generational athleticism and do-it-all play, but one frequently voiced criticisms he receives — and there are few — is his weight. The 280+ pounds of weight he carries cannot be helping him to jump out of a court for 35 minutes a game, 72-82 times in the NBA season.
The durability concerns have not been quelled in his first two seasons. He has missed 79 games in that span due to injuries. With New Orleans’ season starting Wednesday versus the Philadelphia 76ers, Williamson is still unable to participate as he recovers from a broken right foot.
The 6-foot-7 Williamson underwent surgery in the offseason, the team announced back in September. At the time, the Pelicans forecasted Williamson to be ready for the start of the season. With weight re-surfacing as an issue for Zion in the midst of his recovery, the team is reportedly concerned by how his return will lag because of the added weight. As of Oct. 20, Williamson is considered “weeks away” from returning to the Pelicans, per Brian Windhorst.
Last season, Williamson was named an All-Star: averaging 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 61 games. The Pelicans finished 11th in the Western Conference (31-41).
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