Williamson ready to play in New Orleans


FILE PHOTO: May 14, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; NBA top prospect Zion Williamson (middle left) is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery at the Hilton Chicago. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Presumptive No. 1 NBA draft pick Zion Williamson seemingly is ready to start his career with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Williamson’s stepfather, Lee Anderson, appeared Thursday morning on the Off The Bench show on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge and said Zion is ready to plant roots in New Orleans. He said the family already has chatted with Pelicans general manager David Griffin and coach Alvin Gentry.

“We met with David Griffin and had a great conversation and are excited at the prospect of getting settled and finding a place to stay,” he said.

The Athletic reported Williamson met with the Pelicans on Wednesday before leaving the NBA combine.

Chatter on Wednesday was that Williamson was disappointed that New Orleans drew the No. 1 pick in the draft and that he could return to Duke for a sophomore season and take his chances in the 2020 draft instead. Anderson quickly shut down those rumors.

“As far as returning to Duke, that’s not something we’ve even considered,” Anderson said.

Williamson, a South Carolina native, swept the national player of the year awards after his first season at Duke. The power forward played in 33 games, averaging 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He shot 68 percent from the floor.

In addition, Williamson reportedly met with the Memphis Grizzlies — owners of the No. 2 pick in June’s draft — in Chicago, as did Duke teammate RJ Barrett. Barrett opted to leave Chicago after meeting with Memphis, leading to speculation he was promised the Grizzlies that he’s their choice to be the second overall pick.

—Field Level Media

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