When young forward Zion Williamson (the first overall pick in 2019) failed to make his debut this season, it called into question his durability and loyalty to the Pelicans franchise.
At the very least, it gives the Pels a reason to doubt before giving Williamson a max extension.
Still, even despite the situation, New Orleans GM (and VP) David Griffin doesn't see it as a difficult choice. To him, it would be foolish to give up on Zion so soon, and is willing to pay whatever it takes to keep him in town for the foreseeable future.
“It’s a pretty easy decision. The kid is historically good when he plays. It’s really going to be about if you’re all the way in with us, this is what it looks like. And we’re all the way in with him.”
Good for Griffin and the Pelicans for not bowing to the pressure and giving up on Williamson. Despite concerns about his health and durability, he is still a very talented young star who can bring success to the franchise.
Despite what the public says, the guy is a hard worker and a truly dedicated individual.
"There's this misconception of what he's like as a human being. He's nice, he's fun-loving, he's from the south, he loves is southern cuisine. The cool part is that his teammates like him. You see the media and how he is treated, he doesn't speak very often because he has a lot of people that speak for him behind the scenes. One of the things he will do this season is be present. Not just for the media, but for his team. All in all, I've enjoyed my experiences with him. He works extremely hard."
The future is still murky for the Pelicans. Thanks to years of high draft picks and decent trades, they have built a pretty solid foundation of players and have the potential to make a lot of noise next season if healthy.
But they will only go as far as Zion makes them, and he seems ready to lead this team into uncharted territory.