Currently under pressure to do all they can to please franchise superstar Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans are on the hot seat heading into the 2021 NBA offseason.
Since drafting Williamson in 2019, the Pelicans have yet to make the playoffs and are hoping that will change next season with the addition of exciting young scoring guard Devonte Graham and the new hiring of head coach Willie Green.
With Williamson’s contract set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 NBA season, the heat is on for New Orleans to make some drastic changes and build a roster that will give Williamson the supporting cast he needs to lead the Pelicans back to the NBA Playoffs in 2022. If they don’t though, Zion will likely be taking his talents elsewhere in 2023 NBA Free Agency.
Having said all this, lets look at a few reasons why there’s a 100% chance Zion Williamson will leave the Pelicans by 2023.
The Pelicans have failed to build a winning culture
Despite all the changes the organization has made to building a title contender in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, it has not been enough to nab them a playoff spot. Granted it’s only been a few years and these things do take time, but these also aren’t reasonable times for them, especially with Zion and his family openly voicing their displeasures with New Orleans’ inability to put a winning team around the All-Star power forward.
On the flip side, they have been rumored to be involved in trade talks to add another star to play alongside Williamson, but rumors are all it’s been for the Pelicans. As good as Brandon Ingram has been for them, it doesn’t seem as if that’s been enough to please Zion into staying with the Pelicans long-term.
However, there is still time for them to make this happen, it’s just all a matter of how far they’re willing to go and how much time and effort they actually end up putting in to make it a reality. If they fail make any sort of progress again next season, then Zion may already start looking into his options for 2023 NBA Free Agency.
Zion Williamson has not been able to stay healthy while playing in New Orleans
For all the promise he’s shown and highlight reels he provided while playing in New Orleans, his lingering knee injury has really held him back. It may lead one to question whether or not he has the right athletic training staff working with him to get him back to full strength. If he has another season to leave the team during the summer of 2023, then that would definitely be a valid one.
He’s had knee issues ever since entering the league in 2019 and it doesn’t seem like the Pelicans training staff has been able to find a remedy for this. Which has been frustrating for the young superstar who has hasn’t been able to stay consistently healthy and play the amount of minutes he’d like to.
Plus with there being several organizations out there who boast top-notch training staffs, Zion Williamson may take this into strong consideration when looking for an opportunity to compete for a title, but more importantly this would allow him to stay healthy for longer periods of time. This would also allow him to be more effective and properly grow and develop into the superstar that he’s destined to become.