New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is ready to resume his rise to NBA superstar status.
“I feel like I’m at my best right now,” the 22-year-old told reporters at the team’s media day on Monday. “I feel like I’m moving faster, jumping higher. I feel great.”
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and an All-Star in his second season in 2020-21, Williamson missed all of last season with a broken right foot.
The Pelicans open training camp on Tuesday. Their first preseason game is Oct. 4 against the Chicago Bulls and they open the regular season against the host Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 19.
Williamson signed a five-year extension this summer worth at least $193 million. He can earn up to $231 million via incentives that include winning MVP or Defensive Player of the Year honors and making the All-NBA team.
The former Duke star has been productive when healthy, averaging 25.7 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 60.4 percent from the field in 85 career games.
Williamson resumed basketball activities on May 26 and will enter training camp fully healthy.
The Pelicans made the playoffs without him as Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum led the way. New Orleans also has promising young players such as Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado.