It turns out Zion Williamson is happy with New Orleans and not going back to Duke

This may be shocking, but it turns out we shouldn’t read into an 18-year-old’s body language when trying to gauge how he feels about his first job out of college.

Much was made of purported No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Zion Williamson’s snickering reaction to Tuesday’s news that the New Orleans Pelicans won the Zion sweepstakes and a report that he would have preferred to play for the New York Knicks, who landed the third pick despite entering with the best lottery odds.

While the Pelicans have not explicitly said they will draft Williamson at No. 1, even the Memphis Grizzlies, who finished second in the lottery, are working under that assumption. They have already told Murray State sophomore point guard Ja Morant’s camp that they intend to draft him, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

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Zion Williamson's freshman year at Duke
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Zion Williamson's freshman year at Duke
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) and Army's Matt Wilson (14) reach for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Zion Williamson reacts following a play against Army during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. Duke won 94-72. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) drives for a dunk against Eastern Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) reacts following a play against Eastern Michigan during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) reacts following a play against Eastern Michigan during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura (21) tries to stop Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Maui Invitational, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, in Lahaina, Hawaii. Gonzaga defeated Duke 89-87. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Duke's Zion Williamson reacts following a basket against Indiana during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Jack White (41) embraces Zion Williamson, middle, as Williamson looks at teammate RJ Barrett (5) late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Hartford, in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) speaks with teammates on the bench late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Hartford in Durham, N.C. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) listens to coach Mike Krzyzewski during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Yale in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
File- This Dec. 20, 2018, file photo shows Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) dunking the ball against Texas Tech during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in New York. Williamson is one of the names you may not know now but very well could by the end of 2019. They figure to come up big in the new year.(AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)
Duke's Zion Williamson, front, saves a loose ball as Wake Forest's Isaiah Mucius, back, defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) drives between Wake Forest's Ikenna Smart (35) and Jaylen Hoard during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) is seen during a break in action against Syracuse during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. Syracuse won 95-91. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) shoots a foul shot against Pittsburgh during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) keeps his eyes fixed as he goes for a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Boston College in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)
Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) talks with forward Javin DeLaurier (12) during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. Duke won 71-69. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) drives to the net against North Carolina State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) flashes a grin after his team made a play against North Carolina State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)
Duke's Zion Williamson sits on the floor following an injury during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) is attended to on the bench following an injury during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Zion Williamson, center, cheers after a basket from the bench during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Duke won 75-65. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Duke's Zion Williamson applauds during player introductions prior to an NCAA college basketball game against Miami in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) reacts after a dunk against Syracuse during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) smiles after a play against Syracuse during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) and RJ Barrett (5) embrace as they leave the court after Duke defeated North Carolina in an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Duke's RJ Barrett, left, hugs Zion Williamson after Duke defeated Florida State in the NCAA college basketball championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) celebrates after Duke defeated Florida State in the NCAA college basketball championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
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Within 24 hours of the Pelicans getting their shot at Williamson, who may well save the NBA franchise in New Orleans, either as the replacement for disgruntled superstar Anthony Davis or the reason he stays, we were even reminded that Zion has yet to hire an agent or sign a shoe contract. Technically, that means he can still withdraw from the draft by June 10 and return to Duke for his sophomore season.

With the caveat that, “People that I know who know him say no, that this is not who he is,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on Wednesday’s edition of “The Jump” that the possibility of Williamson returning to Duke is “a conversation that’s happening in the NBA right now” and one that was “blowing up my phone since last night.”

It turns out all it took was someone speaking to Zion’s stepfather to clear that up.

As brought to our attention by Times-Picayune columnist Jeff Duncan, Williamson’s stepdad, Lee Anderson, told a Baton Rouge radio show on Thursday that Zion is “excited” about playing in New Orleans and has not considered returning to Duke.

“We’re excited about that,” Anderson told the ESPN Radio affiliate’s “Off the Bench” show. “One thing that Zion has always been taught is that you accept the things that you can’t change and you change the things that you can change, and this is one of the things that he had nothing to do with. It’s the process of the NBA, and certainly we’re excited about the Crescent City down there in New Orleans.”

As for Duke, Anderson added, “There has been a lot of speculation, but that is nothing that we have even considered.” They had productive conversations with Pelicans general manager David Griffin and coach Alvin Gentry both Tuesday and Wednesday. The family is already making plans to call New Orleans home.

This news was soon met with a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania that Williamson had even mentioned to those close to him that the Pelicans were a preferred destination to start his career as a potential face of the franchise.

Maybe we don’t rush to pour water on a kid’s future and a city’s excitement next time. At least it didn’t take long for Williamson to learn about the NBA’s rumor mill.

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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