Zion Williamson's father-in-law said the Duke star was cool to play for the New Orleans pelicans if, as expected, they took him with the first pick in the NBA draft in June.
"Were excited [about coming to New Orleans], "Lee Anderson said Thursday on the Off The Bench radio show" 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge. "We are delighted with that."
Anderson answered questions about his son-in-law's intentions after speculation that Williamson may not want to go to New Orleans, a franchise that is changing after star Anthony Davis asked for an exchange last season.
Although Williamson did not sign any contract with an agent, did not sign a shoe agreement and could theoretically return to Duke for a second year, the 18-year-old did not even publicly refer to rejecting the project. In fact, he said that, even though he liked Duke, he felt he had to go to the next step and leave.
"And you said about going back to Duke … there was a lot of speculation, but it's nothing we even considered," Anderson said.
Williamson and his family have been in contact with the pelicans and are planning the next steps with the team.
"I spoke with the coach [Alvin] Gentry the other night [Tuesday] and we met [vice president of basketball operations] Mr. Griffin, David Griffin, and I spoke to him last night [Wednesday], "Said Anderson. We had a great conversation and we were excited about the chance to come and settle in, look for a place to stay and all the good stuff. "
The Knicks, Cavaliers and Hawks had the best chance of winning Tuesday the draw of the NBA at 14%. But pelicans turned their 6% chance in the first choice. Many have considered Williamson and the big apple as a natural choice.
"One thing has always been taught in Zion, you accept things that you can not change, you change things that you can change, and that's one of the things for which it had nothing to do "said Anderson. "It's the process of the NBA."
In the midst of the turmoil around Davis, the Pelicans went 33-49 last season and missed the playoffs. They came from a 48-34 campaign and a loss in the semifinals of the Western Conference. They have raised great hopes. And the Davis saga has still not been resolved. But New Orleans now has the opportunity to add the university player of the year to encourage him to stay.
Anderson was asked if Williamson's decision not to sign with an agent or shoe sales contract meant that the family left open the possibility of a return to school.
"We just think that there is not really any hurry to do this now," he told the radio. "You do not have many opportunities in life to have the power and the ability to control your own narrative, so we feel in a position to do it, and we just want to make sure we do anything That's what we do, it's the right decision, we just want to make sure we do it right. "
Williamson seems to be close to his father-in-law, posting a Father's Day message on Instagram last June thanking Anderson for being "present to me since the age of 4," he said. game that I love and showing me how to become a man ".