NBA Notes: Pelicans, Zion Williamson, Raptors, Rockets


Zion Williamson said he’s ready to take off after missing all of last season with a foot injury, then signing a rookie-scale max contract extension last week.

 “I want to prove that I’m a winner,” Williamson said, via Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “It’s as simple as that. I want to win with coach. As well as with my teammates. The ultimate goal is to win the championship. I feel like that’s what we’re all striving for. Like Griff (Executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin) said, we’re hungry. Y’all saw this past year what the team did and I’m just excited to add to that.”

With the likes of Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, the Pelicans could be a darkhorse in the West next season, added coach Willie Green.

 “Now it’s going to take work to get there,” Green said. “What groups play well together? How can we take advantage of different mismatches? How can we put all of our guys on the floor and give them an opportunity to be successful? That takes work. But it all comes together at some point throughout the course of the season, and when it does I think we can be a scary team.”


Forward Otto Porter Jr. said Toronto is precisely where he wanted to be after leaving the Warriors in free agency.

“This is definitely a place I wanted to go to,” he said, via Aaron Rose of “My wife is from here, it’s just a lot easier for the family. A great organization, a great team, young team that has aspirations to get back to the top.

“Winning a championship last year in Golden State, I feel like I can bring that experience here to help the younger guys out.”

Porter averaged 8.2 points last season and shot 42 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. The Raptors were just 37 percent as a team last season.

“It’s key to today’s NBA, spacing the floor. And I was able to do that in Golden State and help space the floor for guys to penetrate and get to the rim,” Porter said. “Hopefully I can bring that here, where (Fred VanVleet) can get downhill more, (Pascal Siakam) can have more room to operate, (Scottie Barnes) have more room to operate. And to bring defensive pressure on the ball, pretty much switch one through five, and that’s huge.”


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