Zion Williamson sounds very much like a player that might be preparing to demand a trade.
At 5-6 through the first 11 games of the season, it’s safe to say that it hasn’t been the best of starts for the New Orleans Pelicans. For a team that was entering the season with their stars healthy, the hope was that this team could pick up where they left off through the first half of last season when they sat atop the Western Conference standings.
That hasn’t been the case for the Pelicans. Their offense is struggling mightily and their average defense is probably the biggest reason why they’re not in a bigger hole through the first few weeks of the season.
To add injury to this poor start, the vibes around this team aren’t great either. All of that could be epitomized by some recent comments made by Zion Williamson in which he said he’s trying his best to “buy in” and that he’s taking a “back seat” approach now.
I’m not sure if this is strategic by the Pelicans but if it is, it’s not smart. I’m not sure any franchise has asked their star player to “take a back seat.” This could potentially be bad, or the start of something bad.
From the outside looking in, these are the comments that a checked-out star player makes.
Did the offseason trade whispers hurt the New Orleans Pelicans?
With how the Pelicans have struggled to start the season, you can’t help but wonder if some of their struggles can be tied to what transpired during the offseason. During the summer, the Pelicans were at the center of trade whispers when Zion’s name suddenly was thrown around regarding the possibility of the team targeting the No. 3 overall pick (in an attempt to acquire Scoot Henderson) in a potential trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.
As we know now, nothing came of it and the speculation likely drove the intrigue more than anything, but it’s something to look back at. Could that have completely changed the vibes around this team heading into the start of the season? Could that have put Zion in a bad place mentally heading into the start of the season?
These are all fair questions that have to be asked. For a team that has not proven it can win just yet, these are the types of things that can completely derail a blueprint.
Right now, nothing seems to be going right for the Pelicans. The saving grace is that we’re only a few weeks into the season and a 5-6 game win streak can completely change the outlook for the team.
The Pelicans have the talent to turn it all around. But has the damage already been done?