Zion Williamson has not yet played a single minute for the New Orleans Pelicans this season, as he has been recovering from a foot surgery that happened last summer. It is currently unclear whether Zion Williamson will be able to play this season.
CJ McCollum is a long-time veteran and the current president of the players' association. Prior to him getting traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, some reports have suggested that the Pelicans viewed him as the perfect leader to pair with young stars, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
Recently, CJ McCollum has expressed support for Zion Williamson amidst his recovery from injury, claiming that he wants to "be there" for Williamson, and give him "someone to lean on" while the young star goes through rehab. This is clearly a fantastic leadership move from McCollum, and it is obvious he's trying to ensure Zion Williamson doesn't feel alone while he's away from the team. Mark Medina of NBA.com relayed the news.
“I just want to be there for him and be someone to lean on who has gone through injuries and doubt and anxiety and all of the things that are associated with being removed from the team due to injury,” McCollum said. “He’s a really young, talented player that has got a lot on his plate right now. I think it’s important for him to focus on the process and on the rehab. The rest of the things will handle itself. But when he gets back, we’ll hit the ground running. That’s a guy that changes any franchise and their trajectory.”
McCollum could not help but smile and grin when envisioning what that dynamic would look like.
“A great partnership,” McCollum said. “It’s not hard to play with a guy that shoots 65% from the field and can get you 30 [points] and 10 [rebounds].”
Hopefully, we see Zion Williamson return prior to the end of the season. He could definitely help the New Orleans Pelicans with their playoff push. However, Zion Williamson's health should be the priority for the team, and there's no reason to rush him back.
The New Orleans Pelicans are currently the 10th seed in the Western Conference, and they have recently beat the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers. While it is unlikely they will make noise in the playoffs this season, they could be a very dangerous team if Zion Williamson returns.