Zion Williamson put up stellar numbers in 2020-21, and New Orleans Pelicans fans were looking forward to seeing what the power forward would do in Year 3. However, Williamson has yet to play this season. He underwent surgery to repair a broken right foot in the offseason and is still experiencing soreness.
Williamson recently received an injection in his foot to help with the healing process, meaning he’ll be out for another four to six weeks. There aren’t many Pelicans fans who expect the Duke product to play this season since the team has one of the worst records in the NBA.
However, New Orleans supporters won’t be happy with the latest report from Jake Madison of Locked on Pelicans since it paints Williamson as someone who doesn’t want to play for the Pelicans.
Zion Williamson has reportedly skipped rehab and fallen asleep during film sessions
According to Madison, Williamson has skipped rehab sessions and fallen asleep during film studies. Williamson was shown falling asleep on the Pelicans’ bench during his rookie season while watching a game against the Detroit Pistons, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the swingman fell asleep during film studies.
“He has skipped things he needs to be at the team for that comes to trying to get him back out on the court,” Madison said.
There have been rumors that Williamson doesn’t want to play for the Pelicans anymore. New Orleans can sign Williamson to a rookie-scale extension this offseason, and CBA rules are set up to financially motivate players coming off their rookie contracts to stay with the team that drafted them.
However, if Williamson isn’t taking his rehab seriously and gives off vibes that he doesn’t want to be in New Orleans, the Pelicans have to trade him.
Has Zion Williamson played his last game with the Pelicans?
Before Pelicans media day, a bombshell report from NOLA.com said Williamson and David Griffin don’t have a good relationship. In the summer, The Athletic reported that certain family members of Williamson want to see him on another team.
As expected, Williamson said he loves playing for the Pelicans on media day, but his actions behind the scenes are conveying a different message. The Athletic reported that the All-Star was irritated when Griffin traded J.J. Redick last season and didn’t attend OTAs before the start of this season.
Williamson has only played in 85 games for the Pelicans since entering the NBA. He’s undergone two major surgeries already and is playing for an organization that couldn’t appease Chris Paul or Anthony Davis. If Williamson doesn’t trust Griffin or the Pelicans’ training staff, New Orleans’ ownership group needs to either fire Griffin and hire a new GM or trade Zion for a blockbuster package.
It’s unfortunate how this season has played out for Williamson. He’s been so fun to watch when he’s been on the court, and Pelicans and basketball fans around the world want to see him play. New Orleans supporters may be growing frustrated with Williamson after all the injury setbacks and reports, but there’s no doubt they’d change their tune if the North Carolina native eventually suited up and played inspired ball.
Zanos looks like a once-in-a-generation player when he’s out there
Williamson is averaging 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 85 NBA games while shooting 60.4% from the field, 33.3% from beyond the arc, and 68.3% from the free-throw line. He scored 362 points in the first 15 games of his career. Only Michael Jordan, Bernard King, and Terry Cummings scored more points in their first 15 NBA contests.
Pelicans fans enjoyed everything they saw from Williamson in his first two seasons. Zanos was projected to take the superstar leap this campaign and lead New Orleans to the postseason. However, the broken foot has set things back, and now there’s serious doubt as to whether Williamson will play for the Pelicans again.
If he’s skipping rehabs and falling asleep in film sessions, the Pelicans should trade Williamson. The face of the franchise can’t be acting unprofessionally and getting away with it. Only time will tell how this situation plays out, but things in the Big Easy aren’t looking good in the post-Davis era.