The New Orleans Pelicans played their last game at the NBA’s summer bubble in Orlando on Aug. 13. Since leaving Disney, second-year star forward Zion Williamson has been hard at work.
During his lone season at Duke, Zion looked like one of the most explosive players we’ve ever seen at that level. In limited NBA action last season, he backed up the hype, and his No. 1 overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Zion was held to 24 games last year after suffering a torn meniscus in the preseason. Once he got on the court, he was incredible, averaging 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, in just over 27 minutes per contest.
He entered last year listed at over 280 pounds, and some have expressed some concern about his ability to play up to his potential, and a more full season of minutes, at that weight. He has downplayed it as an issue during his young career, but according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, he’s gotten to work slimming down during this brief offseason. On a recent episode of the “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast, the NBA insider says that Williamson is down around 25 pounds since the Pelicans’ season ended just over four months ago.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) December 17, 2020
“I was told that Zion, and I don’t think they really wanted to publicize where he was physically when he came back to the bubble, but I have heard that it’s in excess of 25 pounds that he’s lost from where he was in the bubble to where he is now,” Windhorst said, via RealGM. “He is not as svelte by any stretch of the imagination, but he definitely is moving better.”
It is unclear where exactly Zion Williamson’s weight was during the Bubble, but if he’s down to around 260 or less, from the listing last year, that is pretty impressive overall. It is also scary to think that he may actually get more explosive, without losing some of the power that makes him such a unique prospect.
The Pelicans begin their 2020-21 season at the Toronto Raptors, who are playing out of Tampa this year, on Wednesday, Dec. 23. That season opener tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET.