Zion Williamson is still out for the New Orleans Pelicans after undergoing surgery on his broken right foot. There is no firm timetable for his return and his status has created a ton of concerns. Not the least of which are reports from sources that he has ballooned back over 300 pounds.
When he's actually been on the court, Williamson has been a force. But in his two NBA season, the 21-year-old has only played in 85 games due to various injuries. Man of those ailments could be tied to how much weight he carries around while doing ridiculously athletic things.
According to Bleacher Report, Williamson has gone from the 280 range to back over 300 pounds this offseason:
He's since reached north of 300 pounds this offseason, sources said, again fueling concerns among New Orleans staffers similar to the months leading up to his rookie debut. When he joined the Pelicans' recent preseason trip to Minnesota, several league personnel on hand were struck by his heavier appearance than his listed playing weight last season of 284 pounds. "I know Zion at 280, and he was not 280," said one observer.
"These are the injuries you have to be the most concerned about, a foot injury for a guy with noted weight issues," said one Western Conference executive.
I mean, he ain't skinny.
Last year, while listed at 284, Williamson averaged 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 33.2 minutes per game. He also hit 61.1 percent of his shots from the field. Imagine what he could do at 270 or lower.
No one questioned Williamson's ability coming out of Duke. He's a supremely talented basketball player with otherworldly athleticism. The concern was whether or not he'd be able to stay on the court, largely due to his frame carrying so much weight. Sadly, those concerns have come to fruition and it doesn't seem they're going away any time soon.
Williamson can make up to $200 million over five years on a rookie contract extension next summer. We already know he's not a fan of what the Pelicans have done as an organization, and the weight issues might serve to make things worse.