The New Orleans Pelicans have done well to rebound from a 1-12 start to the 2021-22 NBA season but still sit at 7-19 overall heading into Wednesday's game against the Denver Nuggets. New Orleans continues to be without All-Star forward Zion Williamson, who underwent offseason surgery to repair a fracture in his foot and who recently "experienced a slight delay" in his attempt to return to the court against live opponents.
It's no secret Williamson has reportedly battled weight issues during his brief pro career, and it appears that problem may have again arisen this fall.
Per Tim Kelly of Audacy Sports, ESPN insider Tim MacMahon told Zach Lowe on Tuesday he's "heard from several places" that Williamson "is 70 pounds higher than 260," or 330 pounds. Considering the 21-year-old is listed at 6-foot-6 and 284 pounds on his official NBA profile page, this is alarming for multiple reasons.
Interestingly, former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins said on the air last week that Williamson has little reason to play in a meaningful game before the start of the 2022-23 campaign and that he should use the rest of this season to get his foot, weight, and dietary habits right:
Williamson led the Pelicans in 2020-21 with 27.0 points per game and a player efficiency rating of 27.17. Assuming MacMahon is even in the ballpark with his comment, Williamson seemingly isn't all that close to finding his best form ahead of the start of the winter months.