NEW ORLEANS — Zion Williamson, the No. 1 overall draft pick by the New Orleans Pelicans, will miss the start of the season after undergoing right knee surgery that will sideline him for nearly two months.

New Orleans Pelicans’ rookie Zion Williamson will miss 6-8 weeks after having surgery on his injured right knee. Darren Abate/Associated Press

Williamson had his torn right lateral meniscus repaired Monday. The club said his recovery will last 6 to 8 weeks.

Williamson, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound former Duke star, averaged 23.2 points in four preseason games. He missed New Orleans’ final exhibition game Friday night at New York.

The 19-year-old Williamson turned pro after one season in college, where he averaged 22.6 points and was voted to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s All-Defensive Team. He also averaged 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocked shots.

He was projected to start immediately at forward for New Orleans, alongside guards Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday, forward Brandon Ingram and center Derrick Favors.

While it remains to be seen how Coach Alvin Gentry will change his rotation in Williamson’s absence, it appears forward Nicolo Melli of Italy could be in line for more playing time.


PACERS: Indiana signed power forward Domantas Sabonis to a four-year contract extension.

The Pacers didn’t announce financial terms but first reported it was worth $77 million in guaranteed money and Sabonis could make as much as $85 million with bonuses.

“I’m very excited to remain with the Pacers; this is where I wanted to be,” Sabonis said in a statement. “I appreciate the organization showing their confidence in me, and I’m ready to be part of what’s going to be a great year for our team.”

KINGS: Fourth-year guard Buddy Hield agreed to a multiyear contract extension.

Hield started all 82 games for the Kings last season, and averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists. During his rookie season of 2016-17, Hield was acquired by the Kings in the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.

“Buddy has made tremendous growth each season since joining the team and we are thrilled that he will remain a King as we continue to build an exciting future here in Sacramento,” General Manager Vlade Divac said. “He has quickly established himself as an elite shooter in the league and is an important part of our young, dynamic core.”


NETS: New Jersey signed Taurean Prince to a multiyear contract extension, just a few months after acquiring him in an offseason trade.

Prince came to Brooklyn in a July 6 trade with Atlanta and quickly stepped into the starting forward spot that’s open while Kevin Durant recovers from surgery on his Achilles tendon. He led the Nets with 16.8 points per game during the preseason, shooting 63.2 percent from the field and a team-best 69.6 percent (16 of 23) from 3-point range.

Prince averaged 11.4 points in three seasons with Atlanta. Terms of the deal for the 2016 first-round pick were not disclosed.

GRIZZLIES: Memphis exercised its third-year options on contracts for Jaren Jackson Jr. and guard Grayson Allen.

Jackson, the fourth overall draft pick in 2018, averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 58 games, and was on the NBA all-rookie first team. At 19, he was the second-youngest player in the NBA last season. He turned 20 last month.

The Grizzlies acquired Allen in a trade with Utah that sent Mike Conley to the Jazz this summer. The 6-foot-3 Allen was the 21st overall pick in 2018 after playing four years at Duke. He averaged 5.6 points in 38 games for Utah and had a career-high 40 points against the Clippers on April 2, the second-highest scoring game by a rookie last season.


PISTONS: Detroit waived veteran Joe Johnson.

Detroit signed Johnson last month. Johnson, a seven-time All-Star, didn’t play in the NBA last season and came to Detroit after being named MVP of the BIG3 three-on-three basketball league.

KNICKS: New York exercised its contract options on Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox.

The options are on the fourth year of the contracts for Ntilikina and Smith, and the third year of Knox’s deal.

Ntilikina and Smith were taken one pick apart in the 2017 draft. The Knicks selected Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick and Smith went ninth to Dallas, which traded him to New York last season in the deal for Kristaps Porzingis.

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