Zion Williamson is expected to become the star of the New Orleans Pelicans in a couple of years. However, the young player might find himself in a difficult position if the team fails to assemble the best team to succeed in a challenging Western Conference.
The Pelicans have lost big talent recently after failing to compete in the playoff, and many think Zion is headed toward the same path. In his first two seasons in the league, the player has failed to lead his squad to the big party. If that doesn't change this upcoming season, the Duke product might start seeing his future in a different franchise.
The relationship with the Pelicans GM David Griffin isn't the best. This isn't a secret, but a recent story sheds light on what happened with Williamson and Griffin that created some issues between them. Christian Clark of NOLA.com wrote a piece explaining that Zion didn't like how the team handled his injuries in 2020.
In case you don't remember, they had set a return timetable of six to eight weeks, but that became three months for the forward.
“Throughout his rookie season, Williamson had grown increasingly frustrated with the Pelicans for the number of hoops they required him to jump through to return from the knee injury he suffered in the preseason. The team initially provided a return-to-play timetable of six to eight weeks, but it took more than three months for Williamson to get back on the floor. When he was finally given the thumbs up to play, he was placed on “burst” limits, which he detested. The way Williamson’s return was handled caused significant tension between him and the team’s medical staff, sources said.”
Moreover, things didn't get better for Griffin. He wanted to develop a good relationship with Zion, but things have been entirely different. Now Williamson barely speaks to Griffin, meaning their relationship could come to an end sooner than expected.
“Williamson’s relationship with Griffin had also begun to sour. Although they communicate infrequently now, Griffin tried hard in Williamson’s rookie year to forge a bond. One example: During the Pelicans’ bubble stay, Griffin asked to meet with Williamson and played the piano for him.”
The Pelicans know how to lose a generational talent after Anthony Davis left the squad in 2019 to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Many fans think Zion could emulate AD, get tired of an underperforming team and take a different path when his rookie contract is up or a little later.
If the relationship with the GM didn't start well, it'll be tough for them to make amends and get things back on track. Still, this is only speculation, and only Zion and Griffin know what is really going on within the Pelicans organization.