However, it was recently reported that Williamson is getting close to returning to the court, giving hope to many Pelicans fans who have seen their team completely fall apart without him.
Yet, even when Williamson returns, there is little chance that this will be a championship season – or anything close to it – for the Pelicans.
Williamson will help New Orleans in some major ways but he is not enough to turn this crumbling season around.
The Pelicans Are A Disaster
The Pelicans are currently the 14th seed in the Western Conference and hold a dismal record of 6-18.
Only the disastrous Houston Rockets are worse in the West, at 5-16.
This is particularly troubling for the Pelicans because it shows how much the team relies on Zion to be a remotely good team.
Even after his return, if Zion gets hurt again the team will be once again lost and will fall even further in NBA rankings.
When a team is in a 6-18 hole, it is nearly impossible to come back from that.
Williamson would have to play far better than he has ever been if the team wants to get close to the playoffs or even the play-in tournament at the end of the season.
The Pelicans are such a mess that even one of the best players in the league isn’t enough to save them.
Zion Needs Support
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 2, 2021
Valanciunas has been consistently strong, as has Graham.
Meanwhile, Jones has been a defensive powerhouse and Ingram has been terrific when he is healthy.
However, their win-loss total speaks for itself and obviously many things aren’t working like they should for this squad.
Zion will need each of these guys – and all of the bench – to be performing to the best of their abilities when he is ready to take to the court again.
However, it is worth noting that the team won’t immediately become successful once he is back.
Team dynamics take time to fully form when an injured player returns and there is a chance that the Pelicans won’t act like a cohesive right away and will need time to adjust.
The supporting players will need to step it up and connect with Williamson instantly if they want any chance at success.
Zion Might Not Be Himself
One of the biggest rumors in the NBA is that Williamson is very unhappy in New Orleans and is looking to be traded.
Multiple reports have said that Zion and his family are deeply troubled with the way the Pelicans have been managed and an inability to form a solid team around him.
The Williamson close circle was also upset by the choices of former coach Stan Van Gundy, which apparently led to his firing after just one season.
Speculation has only grown recently as Zion has seemingly gained a lot of weight and hasn’t looked to be taking his physicality seriously.
Zion Williamson has reportedly reached 300+ lbs this offseason.
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) October 20, 2021
We don’t know what type of player Zion will be when he comes back from his absence and we don’t know if he will have the same power and abilities he did last year.
Plus, if he really is looking to be traded from New Orleans there is a chance that he won’t play with much enthusiasm or determination, which would surely doom the rest of the season for the team.
If this season ends as it started for the Pelicans you can expect to see Williamson packing his bags as soon as possible.