New Orleans Pelicans: It’s playoffs or bust next season
If the plan was to tank in Zion Williamson’s first year, sniff the playoffs in the second and make them in the third, then the Pels absolutely must make the playoffs next season to be considered a success.
It’s hard to watch teams like the Memphis Grizzlies, who have a star from the same draft class as Zion, in the playoffs simply because they did a better job building around Ja Morant than the Pelicans did building around Zion.
The pressure is on the Pelicans not to just get near the play-in game but to make the playoffs and compete. I would say that the Pelicans need to get to the 7th seed or above to be considered a success after missing the playoffs two years in a row.
Fans were willing to be patient this season with all of the challenges that a young team had to face, but next season? Patience will be in short supply.
The Pelicans have a generational talent in Zion Williamson who is going to get antsy and start looking around the league if his team doesn’t start winning.
For next year to be a success, the Pelicans have to show a clear plan about how they are building this team, get major growth from their young players and make the playoffs or next offseason is going to be even uglier than this one.