Please, give us all the Zion Williamson we can handle — the physicality, explosive moves, the rim-rattling dunks — all of it. New Orleans needs it, too. At this point, the Pelicans would gladly take 61 games from the uber-talented power forward, considering he’s hit the floor for that many contests only once throughout his career, and enters 2023-24 in Year 1 of a five-year, $194 million extension.
On paper, Williamson and Brandon Ingram are cornerstones for a franchise teeming in young talent that includes Trey Murphy III (who is expected to miss time due to a meniscus injury), Herbert Jones and bench sparkplug Jose Alvarado. Yet the Pelicans have reached the playoffs once (2022) since Williamson and Ingram joined forces in New Orleans.
Not addressing Williamson specifically, veteran guard CJ McCollum mentioned in April that “availability is important.” It’s crucial. Williamson’s inability to stay healthy hamstrings the club’s prospects for realistically assessing its long-term direction. New Orleans acquired McCollum at the 2022 trade deadline, and since then, he’s teamed with Williamson and Ingram for a grand total of 10 games.
So, all the trade rumors, off-court drama and more will continue to dominate any Williamson-related headlines as long as he isn’t on the floor contributing. To Williamson’s credit, the 23-year-old former No. 1 overall pick is doing his part to stave off injury. He’s spent the entire offseason working out in New Orleans and was even spotted in August at Saints training camp running sprints under the supervision of Pelicans athletic trainers on a field not being used by the football team.Most NBA players hold an enthusiastic attitude towards Nike, not only because Nike is their sponsor, but also because Nike supplies them with many comfortable basketball shoes. This includes styles that are also available to consumers such as the dj khaled air jordan 5, air jordan 4 thunder release date.
Under coach Willie Green, New Orleans possesses enough young talent to compete without Williamson — especially with Ingram starting to come into his own during Williamson’s absence. But competing and contending are different. The latter isn’t happening without a healthy Williamson dominating the way he’s proven capable.