Zion Williamson excited for Pelicans rebuild with ex-Lakers core
MANILA, Philippines – Duke University superstar Zion Williamson has expectedly been drafted first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, and he looks to be all-in for the rebuild.
After inviting the city of New Orleans to “Let’s dance” in an emotional post-draft interview, the 6-foot-7 freak athlete will soon get to dance with the stars they got from the Anthony Davis trade like Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball.
“What excites me the most is the fact that they're young and they're close to my age so they can help me a lot more, like how to deal with this transition,” he said.
“I think we can build something over there.”
Despite their young age, the 22-year-old Ingram and 20-year-old Ball have proven they belong in the NBA after their short stints with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 6 games after the All-Star break in February, Ingram went on a tear and averaged 27.8 points and 7.5 rebounds on a 57% shooting. However, he got diagnosed with a dangerous blood clotting condition and sat out the rest of the season from then on.
Ball, despite being subjected to immense scrutiny in Hollywood, evolved to be an excellent defender to make up for his glaring shooting woes.
The 24-year-old Hart is no slouch, either, as he showed to be a good spark off the bench when healthy.
With Williamson now ushering the new era of Pelicans basketball after Davis’ departure to LA, he said he’s up to fill the void and lead by example.
“I see myself trying to step into a leadership role,” he continued. “When I think about doing that, I have to also understand my teammates and understand where their heads are at because I think if you're not on the same page, things don't usually go well.”
“I think it's a matter of us coming together, making the same goals and just willing to win, and I think we can do something special.”
In his lone season at Duke, the 18-year-old bruiser averaged 22.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks on an eye-popping 68% shooting clip.
Together with now-New York Knick RJ Barrett, Williamson led the Blue Devils to the US NCAA East Regional Finals before falling to Michigan State by one point. – Rappler.com