West Notes: Pelicans, Zion Williamson, Blazers, Damian Lillard, Spurs


Head of basketball operations David Griffin indicated that power forward Zion Williamson is making good progress ahead of training camp.

“I can tell you Zion Williamson has been in our gym more than he has in his entire career in the offseason,” Griffin said, via Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “He has been in New Orleans virtually all offseason, which is different.”

Williamson said on Gilbert Arenas‘ podcast that he is trying to do things differently in order to stay healthy and stay on the court this season.

“There are a lot of things I could have done better,” Williamson said. “I didn’t. I’m in the process of fixing those wrongs.”

Trail Blazers

Star guard Damian Lillard continues to hold out hope the Blazers will trade him to the Heat, but leaving the franchise may not have been his first choice.

“In a perfect world I could spend my entire career in Portland,” he said on the It Is What It Is podcast.

  • The Blazers want plenty in return for Lillard, that much is clear. “What the Blazers want — if they’re dealing with one team, if it is Miami or nothing — they want what the Nets got from the Suns (for Kevin Durant),” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast.
  • ESPN’s Marc J. Spears added more than the Heat may be in pursuit of Lillard. “Would Boston do it?” Spears said on NBA Today. “I’m kind of hearing rumors about another Eastern Conference team that I’m not going to throw out there just yet.”
  • The Blazers are ramping up Lillard trade talks ahead of camp, as we relayed here.


Rookie center Victor Wembanyama is already aiming high — without even yet having faced NBA competition.

“The ideal start would already be the playoffs. For the rest… the best thing is not knowing,” Wembanyama said, via EuroHoops. “I hope it will surprise me and it will be beautiful. It’s no secret that it’s hard to win a ring. But I’m patient and I know it will happen. Not winning my first few years is no barrier to becoming a Hall of Famer or winning five later.”


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