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The second-year Duke product dropped 25 pounds since his team was eliminated from the NBA bubble, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported, and that could make for a big development in his game.
“I was told that Zion, and I don’t think they really wanted to publicize where he was physically when he came back to the bubble, but I have heard that it’s in excess of 25 pounds that he’s lost from where he was in the bubble to where he is now,” Windhorst said on his podcast (h/t Real GM). “He is not as svelte by any stretch of the imagination, but he definitely is moving better.”
The Pelicans list the forward at 284 pounds, which means he could begin the season as slim as 260 pounds.
New Orleans can hope the weight loss helps keep its franchise player healthy.
Williamson appeared in just 24 games last year after suffering a tear in his meniscus during the preseason. Even when he returned to the court, the Pelicans kept him on a minutes restriction and tried to do what they could to preserve their rookie.
In his second season, they’re hoping that plan paid off, and if Monday’s preseason opener against the Miami Heat is any indication, that may very well be the case.
Williamson went off for 26 points, 11 rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes against Miami while hitting 8-of-13 field goals.
In his slimmed down form, those nights could become more common than not.