A recent report noted that the NBA was looking to include New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson in any possible format iteration.

NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh initially reported that in conversations with those familiar with the NBA's plan to resume the 2019-20 season, Williamson's name kept popping up.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst indicated that has been the cause of paranoia for people around the league:

“One of the things I've been hearing as I talk to people in the league is [the idea that] the league is going to set up this playoff plan to make sure Zion Williamson is involved,” said Windhorst. “Paranoia is at the top of the list with anything in the NBA. The (players) are always paranoid about everything. ‘The league is screwing me and they're helping that guy.'”

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While this particular scenario of having Williamson and the Pelicans (currently the 10th seed in the West) participate in the return of the NBA doesn't give him or his team a competitive advantage, there is something to be said about the league's intentions.

Whether Williamson wins or loses is irrelevant to the league, but being able to sell a game with his name and photo on the screen does drive a much different interest than a Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday, or a JJ Redick.

This is understandable since Williamson missed the first half of the season with a torn meniscus and the NBA lost a lot of traction with would-be nationally televised games with Williamson in it. Yet one can wonder — if the league is willing to make these exceptions for Williamson, what would they be willing to do for their other cash cow, LeBron James?

Players are always paranoid about the smallest of details and this is no different. While this doesn't necessarily portray a bias toward Williamson, it does show one thing very clearly: this return to action is much more a matter of recouping revenue than it is about crowning an eventual champion.