New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson said he will head into the 2020-21 NBA season with "no restrictions" following an interrupted rookie campaign.
Williamson's debut season was disrupted by injury after being selected as the number one pick in the 2019 draft, while he was forced to quarantine for four days before the coronavirus-hit campaign resumed in July having left the Orlando bubble to attend a family matter.
The 20-year-old played with his minutes restricted after returning from a knee injury in January – Williamson underwent meniscus surgery prior to the 2019-20 season and he missed half the campaign.
But Williamson told reporters on Sunday: "Me and [Pelicans] head coach [Stan] Van Gundy have talked and from what I know now, there are no restrictions. None."
"Of course. I love to play basketball," Williamson replied when asked if he was happy. "With no restrictions? Why wouldn't I love that?"
Williamson averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game for the Pelicans, who did not qualify for the playoffs at Walt Disney World Resort.
He also became the first teenager ever to post 20-plus points in 10 successive games last season.
Earlier in his dominant run, Williamson had four consecutive games with at least 25 points while shooting at least 57 per cent from the field. Chicago Bulls and NBA great Michael Jordan was the last rookie to achieve this feat.
"I think it definitely will be different because, well, it was tough, man. When you're going through rehab and when you're finally able to step on the court, three minutes goes by, four minutes by and … you gotta get subbed out. It was a lot," Williamson said.
"I tried to make the most of the situation and I think I did the best that I possibly could. But it's going to be a lot different."
"I want to show that I'm a basketball player. I'll do whatever the team needs me to do on offense or defense no matter what it is to win. I'm just a competitor," Williamson said.
"When I'm healthy and competing, I'm just a different kind of player. I think that's the player everyone fell in love with."
Williamson and the Pelicans open their season against the Toronto Raptors on December 23.