Zion Williamson will enter his rookie NBA season with the New Orleans Pelicans as the second-heaviest player in the league at 285 pounds, behind Dallas Mavericks big man Boban Marjanovic, who has eight inches on Williamson, but the 6-7 rookie may be creeping up on Marjanovic’s height.
Pundits, including Charles Barkley — who wasn’t a skinny guy during his player career — have said that Williamson cannot last in the NBA at his current weight, but the former Duke star has time to shed some pounds and apparently keep getting taller as well.
According to Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin says the 19-year-old is still growing.
Via The Athletic:
“Yeah, I don’t know that we can determine a weight yet. Zion’s still growing. One of the things that’s lost in this whole process is that, like Jaxson Hayes, Zion is still getting taller. We’re not exactly sure what he’ll look like in the end. So a playing weight is not what you look for. What you look for is to be in top condition, to have the kind of core strength and stability that you need to control all of the incredible torque that his athleticism can generate. … So what you have to do with him is do everything you can from a core and stability standpoint to give him more ability to control what he already has in terms of strength and speed.”
He said the team is “not exactly sure” what the Pelicans’ franchise cornerstone will look like once he is fully grown.
Griffin said the in the past year Williamson has grown, becoming slightly taller than former Duke teammate R.J. Barrett, who is listed on the Knicks roster at 6-7.
Williamson’s NBA Summer League run ended after playing for just nine minutes when he bruised a bone in a collision. Reporters and fans immediately pointed out that the injury could have been caused by his weight, and that he needs to make a physical change to stay healthy in the league.