There is no doubt that this season has been disappointing for Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans.
He has yet to play, and may not this season, as he is still recovering from a foot injury he suffered in the summer and there is no timetable for his return.
He is now rehabbing in Portland away from the team, and it is unclear why or what it means for his injury or his future with the Pelicans.
New Orleans would obviously love to get him back this season, and if they do, would have a great shot at chasing down one of the play-in spots.
He is still the guy the Pelicans are building around for the future, but some NBA executives are unsure if they should be.
NBA executives don’t know what to make of Zion Williamson and his injury
In a recent article by HoopsHype, the publication revealed their top young players NBA teams would like to build around according to poll of 17 NBA executives.
At one point this would have been a head-to-head battle between Zion Williamson and Luka Doncic, who were once thought to be the next faces of the NBA.
Now executives aren’t so sure, as they had Zion ranked just 7th on this list, only four spots ahead of teammate Brandon Ingram, who has stepped up in Williamson’s absence.
All of them cited his injury history as the reason Zion fell so far, as it is clear he has the talent to be one of the best players in the league when he is healthy.
“When he is healthy” is a mantra we’ve heard far too much in Zion’s young career, and even though it hurts me to say so, I don’t think his position on this list is unwarranted even though he might have more pure talent than any of these guys.
It’s been even more painful when you consider what Ja Morant (no. 3 on the list) has been doing in Memphis, who have won 9-in-a-row and are all the way up to the 4th seed in the Western Conference.
Hopefully, this lost season will be long forgotten someday when Zion is dominating the league and leading the Pelicans to the playoffs, but until then, the questions about his health are going to hang over the Pels like a dark cloud.