Pelicans star Zion Williamson continued his effort to quell speculation that he’s unhappy in New Orleans during an interview Friday with SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link). Williamson expressed his fondness for the city and indicated that he sees a long-term future with the team.
“I love it here,” he said. “Anybody that knows me … they know that I love New Orleans. This is the city for me.”
The comments echoed a statement that Williamson made on media day in the wake of reports that some family members are urging him to seek a more successful team in a larger market and that he might have a shaky relationship with head of basketball operations David Griffin. Williamson will be eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer.
During the same interview, Williamson discussed improvements that he made to his game during the offseason, including an expanded use of floaters and midrange shots (hat tip to Oleh Kosel of TheBirdWrites.com). He also expressed a determination to reach the playoffs after missing them in his first two NBA seasons.
“It was a sickening feeling,” Williamson said. “We weren’t in the playoffs — and I’m watching the playoffs — I’m like, man, we can be there. Like I know we can be there this year. Man, something just took over me and I was like, yeah, it’s not happening again. It’s not happening no more. When I started training, everything, from every rep, everything just felt personal. Everything was like, nah, nothing this year is going to stop us from getting into the playoffs. Like, we’re going to do this. I’m going to make sure I do my part and more, to make sure my teammates see me working.”
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Rockets guard Dante Exum had an impressive showing in the Olympics and wants to carry it over to the NBA, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Injuries have hampered Exum’s career over the past six years and he played only six games last season, all with Cleveland before being traded in January. However, Exum is only 26 and is determined to show the league what he can do. “I feel great,” he said. “I feel probably the best I felt since I’ve gotten into the league. I feel strong, healthy, ready to take on 82 games.”
- The Grizzlies have made moves over the past two offseasons to upgrade at the wing, but Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian contends the position is already in good hands with Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson.
- Mavericks guard Tyrell Terry is away from the team temporarily to attend to a family matter, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. There’s not a set time for Terry to return.
11 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Zion, Exum, Grizzlies, Terry”
Even though the Rockets are re-building, Exum won’t get as much of an opportunity with the team as people may think. He might be just ahead of DJ Augustin on the depth chart, but there are still going to be 10 or 11 other players ahead of him.
Well he was awfully bad in the six games he played for Cleveland last year. I mean awful. I’d compare him to Charlie Brown, Jr.
Did you just look at his stats and come to a conclusion based on that? Because he wasn’t “awful”. He was a terrific defender through the preseason and those games. He has value as a player in the NBA until he gets injured, which is always. If he can stay healthy, people will see he won’t be as awful as one would think.
6 games is a small sample size, and he looked good in the Olympics.
I think Exum has as good of a chance of getting minutes as any other Rockets player including Green, Porter, and Wood. The Rockets need defense and majority in Houston are shooters or average shooters with little defense. Green is fresh in the league and he probably will struggle defensively like any other rookie. Porter can score but has some questions about defense. Gordon is a 3 and D guy coming off the bench. Wood is defense and rebound. Tate Jr is under matched half the time and hard to get a read on him. Iwbaba or whatever that rookies name we drafted, he’s similar to Wood at Forward/Center. I can go on and on with each individual on the roster. Everyone is hyped about Green and he is from the G-League which had no defense and ran the scoreboard up. Like I stated, Exum has just as much of a chance to get minutes as any guy on the roster. That says a lot about the state of the Rockets right now. I love my Rockets and hope they surprise a lot of people this year. The veterans are going to be carrying this team this year and still surprised Wall is sitting the season unless traded. Vets like Wood and Exum will be having a huge play in how the Rockets play this year. If both are hurt, we will be playing for the top draft pick again. I’d like our chances if Wall was onboard because having at least 2 out of 3 for the season. Would keep the Rockets from last place
I thought I was the only one who tried to quell things.
Is there speculation that you’re unhappy in New Orleans as well?
Ingram needs to go and the Pelicans need to get a real star to pair with Zion.
My suggestion Bradley Beal.
Brandon Ingram, Jaxson Hayes and a first round pick for Bradley Beal.
Pelicans then have a 5 of Graham Beal Hart Zion and Valacuinas. Graham is a great fit as a secondary playmaker and floor spacer, all of a sudden that looks like a great deal. Hart gets a really good opportunity without Ball and Ingram.
I’d also think having an elite guard in Beal, he could bring the best out of NAW, Kira Lewis and Trey Murphy.
For the Wizards, Ingram is 4 years younger and worth building around. You’d have a really deep roster with loads of players you can choose to develop or trade.
You’d probably keep Dinwiddie Ingram Kuzma and Hachimura for now and look to build around this group. Making Holiday, KCP, Avdija, Kispert, Bertans, Harrell, Bryant, Hayes and Gafford all having to fight for a spot.
Not bad. Not too many red flags for either side in this proposal. The only thing then would be for Beal to actually request a trade. Doubt Wizards would move him if he doesn’t ask to be.
I just saw Faried dropped 14 pts 12 rbs and 2 bks one of them in the clutch for my hometown team to get the win.