New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has suggested that we haven't seen yet the real Zion Williamson and that will happen when the fully healthy and prepared Williamson steps on the floor.
Williamson, who was taken at No. 1 in the 2019 NBA draft, missed a good number of games last season but still flashed signs of his outstanding talent as he finished the season with averages of 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds.
"Once he gets to the point where he's healthy enough to play his game, play with the ball more, play more as a slasher and less as a post-up presence, I think you're going to see the real Zion come to the floor," Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations Griffin said, per ESPN.
Williamson missed the three of the team's last four seeding games in the bubble, and when asked what did Williamson improve since the last time we saw him on the court, Griffin explained: "I think it's hard to identify the things he needs to make the most improvement on other than his availability.
We're going to need to keep him healthy and let him grow as a player. "Everything he did, he did at a historically efficient level. And frankly, I would tell you it's the things he enjoyed the least on a basketball court.
And he was historically good at it. That's not a function of his improvement, that's more of a function of his opportunity to stay on the floor and be used in those interchangeable ways."
Griffin hopes having Steven Adams on the floor will help Williamson
This offseason, the Pelicans signed a non-stretch center Steven Adams to a deal which will keep in New Orleans through the 2022/2023 season.
"A big part of the reason is because Steven is such an elite screen setter, he can do that on-and-off the ball. Zion can be used as a cutter away from the ball. He can be used as a ball handler," Griffin said. "People I think unfairly look at him as a big and being limited to being a 4 or 5.
When we drafted Zion, the thing that excited us the most was the positionless nature of his game. We really very much envision a time where Zion is going to be playing the 3 and defending the 3 and he's going to be on the handle."