The New Orleans Pelicans find themselves in something of an odd position.
On one hand, their future is somewhat bright because they have a generational talent in Zion Williamson.
Conversely, they now have to surround Williamson with the right talent or risk losing him – a proposition that is becoming increasingly likely by the day.
During a recent podcast, ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe shared that the Pelicans have grown extremely concerned about Williamson ultimately leaving for greener pastures.
“This is almost reminding me of Anthony Davis 2.0,” Lowe said on The Woj & Lowe show.
“They realized they had a transcendent talent, and just rushed to get veterans around him, and the team just wasn’t good enough.”
For what it’s worth, the Pelicans’ fears are not unfounded. Williamson’s now-infamous statements about playing for the New York Knicks speak for themselves. Moreover, it’s something of an open secret that Stan Van Gundy got fired because of his one big mistake in handling Williamson. Whether Van Gundy being gone will remedy the ill-will stemming from that remains to be seen.
New Orleans has been working very hard over the past few weeks to trade Brandon Ingram for one of the league’s biggest stars, but thus far nothing has come to fruition. That coupled with the team’s increasingly messy handling of Lonzo Ball could leave a sour taste in Williamson’s mouth.
Williamson is set to become a restricted free agent in 2023, meaning the Pelicans have some time to get it right with him. But if they don’t, and if the 21-year-old shows any level of frustration with the organization heading into next year, expect for his status to become something of a hot topic going forward.
That’s one way to celebrate a birthday. https://t.co/kR0Coa801w
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 28, 2021
Related: What Lakers Can Offer Blazers For Damian Lillard