The New Orleans Pelicans need to put stars around Zion Williamson now, not later.
Fans of the New Orleans Pelicans spent most of yesterday arguing about the merits of trying to trade for Bradley Beal, often using Zion Williamson as the reason not to do it.
This came after the Ringer ran an article that polled NBA executives who said that the New Orleans Pelicans were the team most likely to get Bradley Beal.
I can’t even believe there is any debate here. If you have the chance to get a star in his prime without giving up a piece of your core, you do it and you do it now.
Fans love to fantasize about guys like Lonzo Ball and their “potential”, and he may end up being a star, who knows, but what I do know is Beal is a star now and makes the New Orleans Pelicans a contender during the entirety of Zion Williamson‘s rookie contract.
And this is the reason you put it on the table for Bradley Beal. You do it to maximize Zion Williamson.
New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson is the reason to go after Bradley Beal
There really shouldn’t be an argument against trading for Beal unless the Wizards demand one of Zion Williamson or Brandon Ingram.
The argument for getting him really all revolves around Zion Williamson, his health and contract.
Zion Williamson is ready to win now
“We should grow the team organically!”
I see this a lot on Twitter and have no idea what it means. The whole point of acquiring assets is to use them to build the best possible team, who cares where the players come from?
Yes, you build your foundation through the draft, but you build championship rosters with free agency and trades. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are good now, why should the Pels wait?
Should they just keep drafting two guys a year until BI and Zion are both 25-years-old and all of their prized rookies are ready to play? Fans need to get over the romanticism of “potential” and the “future.” You try to win as soon as you can because the window isn’t always open very long.
Zion Williamson may be at his peak athletically
We recently wrote an article in response to Richard’s Jefferson’s claim that Zion Wiliamson is not as athletic as he used to be. We gave some reasons why this is not true, but it has to be a concern moving forward.
We may look back on Zion’s career and say that age 20-25 was his peak athletically. That doesn’t mean he won’t still be a great player or that he won’t be a lot better than he is now. Zion Williamson is still learning the nuances of basketball and could be even better once he does.
But he will only be THIS Zion once. He will only be an unstoppable physical force for a finite amount of time.
He’s already suffered serious injuries. Can the New Orleans Pelicans really just act like this guy is going to be in peak form for a decade? Nope.
The Pels can’t assume anything with Zion’s health or athleticism.
Zion Williamson could leave
Zion is from a small town in the South and seems like the type of guy who would prefer to play in a place like New Orleans vs. a place like Los Angeles or Miami.
But once again, the Pels can’t assume anything.
I would love to believe that Zion is just going to re-sign with the New Orleans Pelicans as soon as he can, stay with them his whole career and finally bring a title to NOLA.
But I wouldn’t bet on it, sorry. I’ve seen too many free agents flee for the coasts to think that Zion won’t eventually do the same thing.
Hopefully, a guy like Giannis Antetokounmpo staying with Milwaukee will show Zion Williamson that you can still get max money and win MVPs in a small market.
Between Zion Williamson’s talent, injury history and contract, there is every reason for the New Orleans Pelicans to try and win now and for the near future by trading for Bradley Beal.