In our latest stop in our 30 in 30 series, we explore whether Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans are destined for a return to the NBA Playoffs.
The New Orleans Pelicans look to be on the way up after last season. With Zion Williamson out for the season, the Pelicans still made the playoffs but ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns.
With a 9th place finish in the Western Conference last season, Pelicans fans have nothing but excitement heading into 2022-23, but how good can they be?
The New Orleans Pelicans will finally be healthy and whole
During the season last year, the Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers made a deal that sent CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell to the Pelicans. In return, the Trail Blazers received Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, and draft compensation.
McCollum came into the Pelicans’ organization and was an instant leader. Clearly, he wants to make this franchise something special and believes in the surrounding talent. After beating the Spurs in the NBA’s play-in tournament, McCollum said this:
"“This is the start of something special, for sure,” McCollum said. “You see the energy. Feel the energy. My mother is in town; I have some family in town. You can feel the city is excited about basketball when we go out to eat, as they should. There’s a lot of talent here. We’re playing the game the right way. It’s going to be a lot of winning in our future.”"
But it’s not just McCollum that the Pelicans should feel good about heading into next season.