The New Orleans Pelicans have had the Zion Williamson question lingering over them all season, but it appears it may have finally been answered.
“Will Zion Williamson play this year?” has unfortunately been the key narrative of the 2021-22 season for the Pelicans, a question that is close to being answered.
According to Shams Charania of the Athletic, Zion is unlikely to play at all this season.
This news is not surprising, as Zion has suffered myriad setbacks that make a return unlikely in the best-case scenarios.
This also isn’t official, as this didn’t come from the team but from one of Shams’ sources, so until we get something official from Zion or the team, this is just speculation.
But I think it’s a fair assumption either way, and while it’s not good news, it does allow the Pelicans to move on with their season knowing that this is their team.
The Pelicans can move on this season without Zion Williamson
The Pels would certainly love to get Zion back, but trying to work him into the lineup in the midst of a playoff push was not going to be easy and there would have been some bumps along the way.
Now Willie Green doesn’t have to worry about that and can just focus on honing his rotation for the stretch run, working around CJ McCollum, Jonas Valanciunas and hopefully soon, Brandon Ingram.
This team was playing well before Ingram went down with a hamstring injury and may be able to make some noise in the play-in and eventually playoffs even though Zion is not likely coming back.
It’s not the news we wanted, as I truly think this is a championship-caliber team at full strength, but the Pelicans can now move on with their season without the question of Zion’s return lingering over everything.