In the summer of 2019, Zion Williamson joined the New Orleans Pelicans via the first overall draft pick. After recovering from a torn meniscus, Williamson made his highly-anticipated rookie debut on Jan. 22 against the Spurs. The No. 1 pick was excellent. He recorded 22 points (8-11 FG, 4-4 3Pt, 2-4 FT), seven rebounds and three assists. Two games later, against Boston, the Duke product had his first of two double-digit rebounding efforts, grabbing a career-high 11 boards (seven offensive), plus 21 points (9-16 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 3-8 FT), two assists and one steal. On Feb. 2, Williamson had his second double-digit rebounding game, totaling 10 boards (five offensive) in addition to 21 points (8-14 FG, 5-7 FT), one assist, one steal and one block. The 6-foot-6 forward posted his first 30-point game Feb. 11 against the Trail Blazers, recording 31 points (10-17 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 11-14 FT), nine rebounds, five assists and one steal in 28 minutes. Williamson scored a career-high 35 points (12-16 FG, 11-13 FT) against the Lakers on Mar. 1, plus had seven rebounds. Before the league went on hiatus due to COVID-19, the rookie averaged 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per game. When the season resumed July 30 in the Orlando bubble, the Pelicans were one of 22 teams invited to participate. Appearing in five of a possible eight seeding games, Williamson averaged 18.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 20.7 minutes. His best performance in the bubble was Aug. 6 against the Kings, where Williamson recorded 24 points (10-12 FG, 4-7 FT), two rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes. For the season, Williamson appeared and started in 24 of a possible 72 games. In September, Williamson was named to the First Team All-Rookie squad.
June 20, 2019Drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 1st round (1st pick) of the 2019 NBA Draft and signed a rookie deal shortly thereafter