New Orleans Pelicans’ young phenom has yet to suit up for the team this season as the team is currently 1-6 without him and currently are one of the worst teams in the league as they share the same record with the Oklahoma City Thunder Zion Williamson played 61out of 72 games and made the All-Star team in just his second season in the league. However, just like his rookie year, he has had a difficult time staying on the court.

Zion Williamson Expected to be Out for Another 2-3 Weeks

When New Orleans had their September media day, the team announced that Zion Williamson had suffered a foot fracture, but GM David Griffin assured the media that he would return at some point in the regular season. Head Coach Willie stated that he has been doing some activity on the court, but still isn’t cleared 5-on-5 practice that involves contact.

The organization plans to have Williamson get a few more rounds of scans in the next two to three weeks to participate in team practice. The bad news for the team is the New Orleans Pelicans as they went through a few changes this offseason, some key additions include Devonte’ Graham via free agency and Jonas Valanciunas via a draft-day trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. One of the key pieces they lost in free agency was Lonzo Ball who signed with the Chicago Bulls.

The Pelicans were hoping to make the playoffs since the 2017-18 season as their roster is completely different compared to the current roster. Since then, Anthony Davis (Lakers),  Demarcus Cousins (still received a ring after being waived by Lakers), Rajon Rondo (Lakers), and Jrue Holiday (Bucks) have won a championship with other franchises. Williamson is making progress but is there other factors the team has to be worried about. 

There Are a Few Underlying Questions That Have Yet to Be Answered

Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game as some players never come back healthy from a gruesome injury. However, when the New Orleans Pelicans played the New York Knicks on Saturday, Williamson was noticeably looked to be out of shape than he did when he was spotted talking to former Duke teammate RJ Barett during pregame warmups. 

Without a doubt, many questions have yet to be answered as he looked to be heavier than the previous season. Zion has the potential to be a superstar in the league as he is already a member of an elite club as  Lebron James and Luka Doncic are the only other two players in NBA history to average 26 PPG at the age of 20 or younger.

Former teammate JJ Redick who retired after last season expressed his concerns in regards to the whole situation. He said,

”Of course I would be worried just in general about Zion, given his injury history…“Zion has to be in better shape. And I think if Zion’s out on the court with Brandon (Ingram) and the young nucleus they have, there’s a lot to be excited about if I was a Pelicans fan.”

If Williamson doesn’t stay in shape, this can lead to many problems as we don’t know the main reason why this happened during the offseason. On top of that being unfit may shorten his career as the forward is very athletic and explosive. This is often referred to as the snowball effect signaling the more injuries he sustains throughout his career; the harder it becomes to stay in shape. The more out of shape he is, the more injury-prone he will become.

Zion hasn’t had the best relationship with the Pelicans, but he will most likely sign an extension with the team as the Pelicans can sign any offer sheet if it comes to that scenario. If Zion can maintain his health for the foreseeable future, the Pelicans can become a playoff contender as there is an obvious void in the starting lineup that only he can fix. 

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I am a student at the University of Miami. I am currently majoring in sports management and minoring in entrepreneurship. My hobbies are watching sports especially NCAAB, NBA, MLB, and the UFC. I also enjoy investing in the stock and crypto currency market. I hope to pursue a masters in the future in Finance or a degree in law to have the chance to work with athletes in the future.