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The New Orleans Pelicans Reveal Their Plans For Zion Williamson This Season

Essentially they’re going to let him be a basketball player

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans
Feb 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) drives to the basket for a lay up against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the second half at Smoothie King Center.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Since his stellar season at Duke, people around the country and basketball world have misunderstood Zion Williamson. As always, and understandably, people focus on the spectacular. With Williamson, that means looking at his unbelievable combination of strength and explosiveness.

But that’s never been the extent of his game and that’s one reason why he chose Duke: Mike Krzyzewski saw him as a basketball player, a guy with skills and talents for nearly every position. Coach K said once that Williamson had guard skills and recently Gilbert Arenas said he thought his future was at guard.

New Orleans concurs, or does so to this extent: they’re not going to force him into a power forward box. Instead, the Pelicans see him as a small forward. Let’s split the difference and call him a wing. A power wing? Okay, that works too.

Here’s a look at how that might work, good and bad. One thing to note here is what David Griffith said about Williamson teaming up with newly acquired big man Steven Adams: “We very much believe Steven and Zion are going to work very well together. A big part of the reason is because Steven is such an elite screen setter, he can do that on or off the ball. Zion can be used as a cutter away from the ball, he can be used as a ball-handler. People, I think, unfairly look at him as a big, and being limited to being a 4/5. When we drafted Zion, the thing that excited us the most is the position-less nature of his game.”

Duke fans know what Williamson can do as well as anyone. While we’ve always enjoyed the spectacular, the most intriguing thing has always been that he has such skills and such a feel for the game. Let’s see where he takes it next.