The New Orleans Pelicans are dealing with a bit of disarray surrounding their franchise cornerstone, Zion Williamson. The injured former No. 1 pick hasn’t featured in a game this season, and recent rumors have emerged suggesting there’s a significant level of detachment between Williamson and the Pelicans. After JJ Redick blasted the 21-year-old for not having reached out to CJ McCollum following the Pelicans’ acquisition of the former Blazer, NOLA.com’s Christian Clark revealed the true reason behind Zion’s disconnect with the franchise, via Bleacher Report.
Per Clark, Williamson has a significant lack of trust in the organization, more specifically, vice president of basketball operations David Griffin. Clark stated in his article that “Williamson and his camp didn’t trust Griffin to be truthful.”
The lack of trust dates back to Williamson’s rookie year, during which he was dealing with a knee injury. Despite feeling ready to play, the Pelicans brought him back slowly throughout the season, and he ended up missing three months. When he finally came back, he managed to feature in 24 games but was playing under a minutes restriction.
While the lack of trust on Williamson’s side is well-founded, Clark’s report also suggested that Zion showed up overweight to camp and was not committing to his rehab assignments, which negatively impacted his standing with the franchise.
Williamson has yet to feature in a game this year, and the latest rumblings suggest the 21-year-old might not take to the hardwood at all in 2021-22. The two sides desperately need to iron out their differences and figure out a way to keep the superstar happy in New Orleans, lest the team risks the chance of losing him at the end of his rookie contract.