The 6’6 power forward star for the New Orleans pelicans reported by ESPN senior insider Adrian Wojnarowski last week that he’s been continuing rehabilitation in Portland, Oregon. Couple of days before preseason began, Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations David Griffin admitted on media day that Zion had a broken foot during the off season that required surgery. With the plethora of injuries Zion has suffered since summer league 2019 after being drafted, there is a legitimate argument to be made that the New Orleans medical staff doesn’t have a great reputation of properly healing their players correctly that would avoid missing a chunk load of days to be able to play. Also is history doomed to repeat itself after a messy turn of events early in 2019 with former New Orleans pelicans Anthony Davis. With Davies Traded to la that summer, Zion is up for rookie extension by the end of this season worth up to $181 million. Is it worth it in his eyes or is the grass greener on the other side ?
If you recall back in 2016, the Pelicans team can be described as an infirmary. A grand total of 351 games missed due to injury or illness by 14 players at that particular moment in time according to the bird writes. Some of those injuries included notable players including jrue holiday, Eric Gordon and also Anthony Davies who had a season ending knee/shoulder injury.
In 2013 the Pelicans owner Tom Benson opened a new state of the art facility estimated worth $15 million. But with all the equipment, resources and advance technology for players available the head athletic trainer at the time for the pelicans Duane brooks stated in an article by Justin verrier “I’m a bit old school, we have cryotherapy but to me hands are the best. You have to have a good set of hands.”
Not a good sign if an organization is spending millions on resources for the athletes to bring in someone aboard with their own methods/philosophy of taking care of the players. Even though Tom Maystadt is the new athletic trainer for the team they’re still dealing with injury bugs within the team.
The Pelicans agreed to trade Davis in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and multiple first round picks in 2019. The question is how beneficial was it for the pelicans? It paid off for the Lakers as they were crowned the 2020 NBA champions while they were in the bubble at Walt Disney world. This summer they lost Lonzo Ball in a sign and trade to the Chicago bulls. Which they’re currently the best team in the east , with a 26-11 record, and Lonzo has steadily improved his jump shot year by year where he’s currently averaging 13 points, 5apg and 42% from the perimeter. The Pelicans have been trying to build around their starters in Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson but you have to compensate them appropriately as well as construct a team that’s beneficial to their needs. History within the franchise shows that they never went within the luxury tax to overspend to go out and get some quality players. At one point , Paul George who at the time was an Indiana pacer admitted him and ad were in conversations to team up in indiana.
Zion has had three different coaches in his first three years in the league. Hasn’t sniffed a playoff game yet. While his peers in his draft class like Rj Barrett and Ja Morant have already gained some playoff experiences.The question is does the new coach willie green or the front office know definitively what the plan is for the team to be competitive now and in the future including Zion ? But also more importantly is Zion happy in New Orleans ? let’s not forget the Awkward experience with the president of basketball operations with David griffin allegedly. Last summer, Zion Williamson’s family reportedly wanted Zion on another team. With all the assets and picks they received via trade, it’s hard to figure out at this particular moment in time what the big return is that would benefit the Pelicans with a healthy Zion to reach higher heights as a team.