The New Orleans Pelicans built their roster around Zion Williamson just to realize they had something special on their hands even without him.
Of course, they’ve been nowhere near contention when he’s not available, but they’re just one piece away from being a contender, and that piece might not be him.
They’ve finally come to terms with the possibility of trading him, and according to NBA insider Bill Simmons, he might not be with the team come Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Needless to say, that prompted plenty of reactions on social media, from some fans stating that he’s never going to be healthy and others urging their teams to make a run for him.
Zion for Randle. It’s been ordained for years now. Just do it
— Ahmad Scientist (@pharmaziz) June 19, 2023
How is this a subplot? This would be the biggest NBA transaction in years.
— Chris Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) June 19, 2023
Can't wait to see who my second team after the bulls is now
— Thomas Kopelman 💵 (@TKopelman) June 19, 2023
He was healthy and mentally didn't want to play. He's going to end up like Ben Simmons if he stays there
— GIFT (@Giftaveli) June 19, 2023
Ironically, that’s the very same debate NBA fans and scouts had when Zion declared for the NBA Draft.
The talent and impact are undeniable, but what is it good for if he literally cannot play the game of basketball?
There have been years of reports of Zion not being committed to his diet or to the team and even falling asleep during film sessions.
His work ethic and durability have been in question way too many times, and he’s been available to play in less than 50% of the games since he entered the NBA.
That’s why his trade value isn’t likely to be high at this point, but there might not be a better moment to pull the plug and just give up on him than before the NBA Draft, especially if they manage to land a top-3 pick in return for him.NEXT: Former NBA Player Rips Wizards For Trade Compensation With Bradley Beal