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Report: Zion Williamson to begin contact drills within the next couple weeks

No. 1 overall pick is working his way back from knee surgery.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson reacts with teammates from the bench in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.  Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson will begin contact drills within the next week or two, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Friday.

Williamson, who has been out due to a knee injury, still doesn’t have a timetable for a return. Per Shams, the Pelicans have wanted Zion to get into better eating habits and trim some weight prior to returning as well. This should help with his overall adjustment to the NBA, though reports continue to say that Williamson’s torn meniscus wasn’t a result of his conditioning.

Zion has been partaking in 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills at practice and we even saw a video of him getting shots up at practice a few weeks back. I’m still under the impression that the Pelicans have no need to rush Zion back into action. They’re among the worst teams in the NBA and don’t have much playoff aspirations at this point. They could still get into that conversation considering the West is weak in the bottom half of the conference.

New Orleans is 9-23 and only 5.0 games back of the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 8 seed. The Pels could make a run, but would it be worth it? They aren’t contending against the Lakers and Clippers and can retain assets on the trade market to build around Zion and Brandon Ingram.