Williamson underwent surgery Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
The Pelicans have been playing things close to the vest since initially announcing that Williamson sustained a knee injury last week, but we now have an official diagnosis. The rookie, who was enjoying a fantastic preseason, will miss at least the first six weeks of his rookie season, with the current timetable putting him back in action sometime in early-to-mid December. In Williamson's absence, Nicolo Melli, Brandon Ingram, E'Twaun Moore and Derrick Favors could all see slight bumps in value.
Williamson (knee) is expected to miss a "period of weeks" to begin the regular season, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
The good news is that Williamson is not dealing with a serious injury, but the Pelicans are treating the situation with "an abundance of caution," and the expectation is that the No. 1 overall pick could miss several weeks. Williamson was held out of the team's most recent preseason game, and he went through additional tests on the knee Thursday in New York. Prior to suffering the injury -- the nature of which is still yet to be clarified -- Williamson was off to an incredibly encouraging start during the preseason. In his most recent game Sunday against San Antonio, Williamson went for 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and two steals.
Williamson will not play in Friday's preseason finale against the Knicks due to right knee soreness.
Williamson didn't travel with the Pelicans to New York, instead opting to stay back in New Orleans to undergo further testing on his sore knee. With the start of the regular season less than a week away, this will certainly be a situation to monitor. Through four exhibition games, the No. 1 overall pick has posted averages of 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals across 27.3 minutes.
Williamson posted 22 points (8-11 FG, 6-8 FT, 0-1 3Pt), 10 rebounds, two steals and one assist in 31 minutes Sunday in the Pelicans' 123-114 preseason win over the Spurs.
Williamson's blend of strength and touch down low made him an unstoppable force during his lone season of college, and he's thus far faced little resistance in the paint from professional competition. Through three exhibition games, Williamson has averaged 23.3 points in 27.3 minutes while converting 71.4 percent of his shot attempts.
Williamson produced 26 points (4-10 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 5-5 FT), five rebounds and an assist across 23 minutes in Friday's 128-127 win over the Jazz
Williamson continued his preseason tear on Friday, helping the Pelicans erase a 10-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter on the way to a superb stat line. His excellent exhibition play has him shooting up the charts as season-long drafts continue, as it appears the rookie is living up to all the hype.
Williamson compiled 29 points (12-13 FG, 5-8 FT), four rebounds, four assists and one steal across 27 minutes during the Pelicans' 127-125 preseason win over the Bulls on Wednesday.
As his final line indicates, Williamson was thoroughly dominant in the narrow victory, comfortably pacing the Pelicans in scoring. The rookie has hit the ground running in his first taste of NBA game action, averaging 22.5 points across his first pair of exhibitions while displaying the elite athleticism that made him a shoo-in for the first overall pick this past June. Williamson will continue to hone his craft ahead of what is expected to be a highly successful rookie season.
Williamson registered 16 points (6-13 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 4-7 FT), seven rebounds, three assists and three steals across 28 minutes during the Pelicans' 133-109 preseason win over the Hawks on Monday.
Williamson's long-awaited return to the court after seeing minimal action in summer league play certainly did not disappoint, although he actually checked in third in scoring on the new-look Pelicans starting five. Nevertheless, New Orleans brass and fans had to be excited about what they saw from the first overall pick, who threw down multiple thunderous dunks while putting his versatile skill set on full display. Williamson checked off every box on the stat sheet except blocks, a matter he's clearly capable of rectifying as soon as New Orleans' next exhibition on Wednesday versus the Bulls.
Williamson will start Monday's preseason opener against the Hawks, Malika Andrews of ESPN reports.
No surprise here, as the Pelicans will go with the starting five most projected, featuring Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Williamson and Derrick Favors. Monday night will be our first look at the No. 1 overall pick since the Las Vegas Summer League, which he was forced out of by an injury after just 10 minutes of action.
Williamson has withdrawn from the USA Basketball Select Team in advance of FIBA World Cup training camp, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
One of a number of big names stepping away from Team USA, Williamson will shift his focus toward preparing for his first NBA season after going No. 1 overall in June's draft. Williamson would've competed for a spot on Team USA's entry for the FIBA World Cup, but the event pales in comparison to the 2020 Olympics, when the United States typically sends its top assemblage of talent. Even after backing out on FIBA training camp, it's certainly possible Williamson's name will be in the mix next summer when Team USA selects its Olympic roster.
Williamson has been diagnosed with a bruised left knee and will not play in the remainder of summer league.
There is no indication that the injury is serious or will limit the rookie's availability for training camp. But the Pelicans will, understandably, exercise extreme caution with Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Williamson will not play in the second half of Friday's Las Vegas Summer League contest against the Knicks after taking a knee-to-knee hit during the first half.
The Pelicans have no reason not to be extremely cautious with Williamson during Summer League, so holding him out for the second half doesn't indicate that the injury is anything serious. The team doesn't expect the issue to linger, but Williamson could still sit for the rest of Summer League, as the Pelicans clearly know what he can bring to the team already.
Williamson was selected by the Pelicans with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
A no-brainer pick for New Orleans, Williamson will enter the NBA as one of the most-hyped prospects in recent memory -- perhaps going as far back as LeBron James in 2003. The Duke one-and-done, who averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.8 blocks in 33 collegiate games -- will be the centerpiece as the Pelicans go through a mini-rebuild on the fly in the aftermath of trading Anthony Davis to the Lakers. Williamson is a virtual lock to start from Day 1, and he'll team with Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball to form one of the more intriguing young cores in the entire league.
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