However, as we all know, things haven’t worked out like expected.
Williamson is in the midst of yet another injury that has sidelined the player, causing him to miss the entire season so far.
He’s currently attempting to rehab from the foot injury that’s taken him out of the NBA but there are no promises that he will come back this year…or at all.
It’s true, some people are starting to wonder if Williamson will ever play professional basketball in the NBA again.
More than just a few fans are questioning the Pelicans’ pick of Williamson and are thinking maybe they should have instead gone a different route.
Draft Class Talent
The 2019 NBA Draft was full of the best young players we have seen in some time.
In the end, Williamson was the first overall pick by New Orleans, which surprised no one.
"I wouldn't be here without my mom. She did everything for me."
Two years ago today, Zion Williamson gave a heartfelt interview after the New Orleans Pelicans drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. pic.twitter.com/kJSvxqj74f
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 20, 2021
In the months leading up to the draft, all analysts predicted that the Pelicans would select Williamson.
He was the no-brainer choice at the time but if New Orleans went a different way, they would have a vast selection of future superstars to pick from.
The number two pick in the draft was Ja Morant, who is now doing incredible work for the Memphis Grizzlies.
In fact, right now there is vast speculation that Morant could even be in contention for this year’s MVP trophy.
Now that a few years have gone by and Williamson’s Pelicans are stuck toward the bottom of the Western Conference while Morant’s Grizzlies are flying to the top of the standings, it’s understandable if New Orleans fans are wishing they got Morant instead of Williamson.
Obviously, the Pelicans would be a radically different team right now if they had Morant – there’s a good chance they’d be in the top five in the West, especially if they also still had Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, Devonte’ Graham, and others.
But should New Orleans fanatics only look at Williamson with regret?
Who Would’ve Guessed?
It’s fair to wish that things had turned out different with the Pelicans and it’s also fair to wish they would’ve picked Morant instead of Williamson.
But you really can’t blame New Orleans for selecting Williamson.
The man is a truly talented, explosive basketball player.
He is an absolute powerhouse on both sides of the floor and one of the most intimidating players to come to the draft in years.
He was exactly what the Pelicans wanted and needed at the time and he was a great number one pick.
No one expected Williamson to get hurt as often as he has.
It’s impossible to predict that sort of thing.
The Pelicans were simply making the best choice they could with the information they had at the time.
Think of it this way: if Williamson does come back – whether it be this season or the next – there is still a great chance that he can live up to the hype.
Zion Williamson last year
People really forget a healthy Zion Williamson is really good pic.twitter.com/TGXbH7u6Uu
— ️️ ️️️️️𝑳𝒐𝒖𝒊𝒔🌟 (@WashedLouis) January 14, 2022
We know this because he has lived up to the hype when he was healthy.
So Pelicans fans shouldn’t lose faith yet – and they definitely shouldn’t look back with anger and regret.