Zion Williamson is still not close to his highly anticipated NBA debut despite making good progress, New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said Tuesday.
Williamson, 19, was the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but the forward underwent knee surgery in October.
Williamson did some light shooting on Tuesday before the struggling Pelicans (6-22) lost in overtime to the Nets. But Griffin moved to play down excitement around that step, saying Williamson still had work to do.
“We’re really excited about where he’s at. He’s made really good progress,” he told Fox Sports New Orleans. “I know we’ve reached that eight-week point and everybody’s ready to see him. I think we’re a little ways away yet, but today was a really big first step. … He’s at an important time for him because he’s now fully weight bearing, so if we’re going to see a setback we would see it now.”
The Pelicans are on their worst losing streak in the franchise’s history, suffering 13 consecutive defeats.
Still, they have received promising contributions from newcomers such as Brandon Ingram and Jaxson Hayes, and they could add another lottery pick to the mix in the 2020 NBA Draft to cement a young roster around Williamson.
Omnisport contributed to this report.