The New Orleans Pelicans have a lot of promise heading into the 2022-23 season. With a healthy Zion Williamson joining a team that made the playoffs last year, it could be a big year for the Pels. As training camp begins, all signs seem to indicate that Williamson is ready to shine again.
After missing the entirety of last season, Williamson showed up to media day looking leaner and said that he is feeling like his best self. Pelicans head coach Willie Green said that Williamson has “dominated” in team scrimmages. Green added that his force and speed impressed him.
Willie Green says Zion Williamson "dominated" in scrimmages with the team last night.
He noted Zion's force and speed were really impressive.
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) September 28, 2022
Williamson’s one-of-a-kind physique made him a wunderkind coming into the NBA, as he was an All-Star in his lone full season. But it has also slowed him down, leading to injuries that have kept him out of nearly two-thirds of his eligible games. Both he and the Pelicans are hoping that injury concerns will soon be things of the past.
The Pelicans showed an identity of grittiness last season but lacked the offensive punch to make a playoff run. Williamson joining Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas should allow them to improve significantly. Although his defensive value remains questionable — he has the tools to be a versatile defensive weapon but has not been that good so far in the NBA — he will have a strong impact on the team.
After a very bumpy beginning to his career, Zion Williamson is now back in action and signed with the Pelicans for a long time.