New Orleans Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy is absolutely excited about the opportunity to work with Zion Williamson as he is confident that the 2019 No. 1 overall pick can play multiple positions on the court. Williamson, who was regarded as one of the best draft prospects in the last decade, struggled with injuries early on last season but showed flashes of his enormous talent when he returned to court.
"I think you have a vision what [Williamson] is, which is a multi-talented guy," Van Gundy told reporters Tuesday at his introductory news conference. "He is an unbelievable playmaker for a guy at his size.
He's a guy who can take the ball off the glass and lead the break and make plays. He can make passes off the dribble. He can finish over bigger people inside. He's a multi-talented guy. I don't look at him in any way as far as is he a four or a five.
I'm not sure those labels matter when it comes to him."
Van Gundy says the Pelicans will build around Williamson
Van Gundy, who is set to return to the NBA after being out for the last two years, wanted to take his time before accepting a coaching offer and he believed the Pelicans were the right offer when they called him.
"I think as we study and try to get more definitive and talk to Zion about what he likes," Van Gundy said, "I think it's more what positions we want to put him in and who is best around him and things like that.
It's not limiting him to a position. I think we'll get to a starting point of that at the start of the season and my guess is as time goes on, I'm going to find out that he can do even more than I think he can do and things will evolve from there."
Lonzo Ball, who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 1 in the 2017 NBA draft, hasn't quite lived up to the expectations so far but coach Van Gundy is confident that the guard will "figure it all out."
"Smart basketball players eventually figure it out," Van Gundy said. "I went through that with JJ Redick. Granted, I mean he came in and it took him a little bit of time to build his career. But smart, hardworking guys figure it out as times goes on and continue to improve.
So I think as good as Lonzo is now, and he's very good, I think that we can expect a good arc of improvement for him over the next few years."