Zion Williamson Won't Play Pelicans Preseason Finale vs. Knicks with Knee Injury

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2019

SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 13: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during a pre-season game on October 13, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images)
Logan Riely/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans announced Thursday that rookie Zion Williamson will miss his team's final preseason game against the New York Knicks on Friday.

The forward is dealing with knee soreness, but this will give him a chance to rest up for the regular season, which begins for the Pelicans next Tuesday on the road against the defending champion Toronto Raptors.

Williamson enters his first season with high expectations as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, and so far he hasn't disappointed.

After scoring 16 points in his preseason debut against the Atlanta Hawks this month, the Duke product has been on fire by averaging 25.7 points per game in his last three appearances.

On a team featuring veteran players like Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick as well as other promising players like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, Williamson is already establishing himself as a go-to option offensively.

He's also coming through with the big-time dunks we were all expecting:

However, the latest knee problem could raise concerns if it forces him to miss more time. The 19-year-old didn't travel with the team and is set to undergo further testing, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

Nicolo Melli, a 29-year-old rookie and nine-year Euroleague veteran, could see extra playing time with Williamson unavailable.

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