Should the Pelicans trade Zion Williamson?

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Let’s be honest. Nobody is really sure if New Orleans is the right place for Zion Williamson.

With all drama and not to mention the lack of playing time – Williamson has suited up for just 114 games during his first four years in the league – the former No. 1 overall pick might not be worth it. But then again, why would the Pelicans give up a player they just signed to a five-year, $194.3 million contract last summer?

As off-the-court headlines continue to build and none of which seem to be shedding a positive light on the 22-year-old, some news that the average fan might have missed is that Williamson’s comrade and assistant coach, Teresa Weatherspoon, has been let go by the team. No one’s exactly sure why, but it could have something to do with Williamson’s mostly bust of a career so far.

And I say “bust” lightly. Williamson is a star. There’s no denying that. Have you seen him play? I certainly have, and the young man has the potential to be one of the top 10 in the history of the game. But you can’t do that from the bench. Or if you don’t get your act together.

When Williamson does play, he is undoubtedly the No. 1 player on the court 9 out of 10 times. I mean, look at this past season. Williamson had such an impact in 29 games of play – 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists per game – that he was still voted an all-star starter even though he never played after Jan. 2.

The most disheartening yet enlightening game for New Orleans fans was on Dec. 30 when the Pelicans took down the Philadelphia 76ers 127-116 to secure the top spot in the Western Conference standings.

During that game, Williamson really showed the impact he can have on his team, dropping 36 points on eventual league MVP Joel Embiid. It would be just a few days later that the team announced Williamson would be out with a hamstring strain, an injury he never returned from as the Pelicans quickly lost the one-seed and nearly dropped out of the playoff picture entirely.

Everyone’s personal life is a private matter, but when it affects your play and mental state, there has to be some accountability. Even with fans scoffing at Williamson about all the concerning reports, I know that each and every one of them would love to have him performing game in and game out like he was on Dec. 30. I bet a bulk of them would even be willing to handle all the social circumstances that come along with it too.

Unfortunately for Williamson, Weatherspoon was a close confidant and someone he respected. The solution of how to deal with NBA life, having a child, and dealing with social problems is a tough scenario for anyone, but maybe Williamson should look to former coaches, players, or other personnel for help in all aspects of what’s going on.

Even with all the trade rumors swirling, I firmly believe New Orleans isn’t going to give up on Williamson quite yet. That being said, if he doesn’t start to show a little more devotion and actually play basketball, I would not be surprised if a move is made right before the trade deadline next February.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of SuperTalk Mississippi Media.

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