Pump the brakes on Zion Williamson returning to Duke. Stadium’s Shams Charania reported that Williamson had “targeted” the New Orleans Pelicans prior to the lottery as a potential landing spot to start his career and is “fully committed” to playing wherever he is drafted. Charania also reported Williamson met with both the Pelicans and Grizzlies during the NBA Combine in Chicago.
“Williamson had a positive meeting with New Orleans,” Charania noted on Twitter. “And prior to the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday, I am told he actually told close confidants that he had looked at New Orleans as a potential targeted landing spot. Just as an opportunity to start his career at a place where he may be the face of the franchise moving forward. He’s returned from Chicago…There is no doubt he is fully committed, fully invested in whichever team ends up drafting him in June.”
After the draft lottery, there was some speculation that Williamson would consider returning to Duke after the Pelicans won the lottery. Williamson looked less than enthused after New Orleans landed the No. 1 pick.
Zion Has No Plans to Return to Duke Next Season
Williamson’s stepfather also shut down the notion that his son would return to Duke for his sophomore season.
As far as returning to Duke, that’s not something we’ve even considered,” Anderson told ESPN Radio’s Jordy Culotta and T-Bob Herbert, per Sports Illustrated. “We met with David Griffin and had a great conversation and are excited at the prospect of getting settled and finding a place to stay.”
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst had previously reported Williamson’s options included going back to Duke but emphasized this does not mean he would actually do so.
“He does have some options. I’m not saying he’s going to pick these options, but he has not signed with an agent and he has not signed a shoe deal yet,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said, per Sports Illustrated. “He could threaten to go back to Duke.”