New Orleans Pelicans: How Zion Williamson can win MVP next season

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The biggest story next season for the New Orleans Pelicans will be the return of Zion Williamson, who missed all of last season with a foot injury.

Zion hopes to come back even better and looks to be taking the necessary steps to get himself into shape and be 100 percent ready to go.

In a recent interview with Zion’s personal chef, Christian Green, I asked the celebrity chef to give me one bold prediction about Zion for the season and he simply answered, “MVP,” and pretty much dropped the mic.

It was a bold prediction indeed, especially when you consider how many games he’s played so far in his short career. Zion will certainly be a long shot to win MVP next season, but it did make me wonder if there is a realistic path for him to get there.

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It’s not going to be easy, but I do think Zion Williamson could win MVP next season if everything falls into place.

New Orleans Pelicans: How Zion Williamson can win MVP

Stay Healthy

The first and most obvious is that Zion Williamson has to stay on the court for the full season. The most he’s ever played in a season is 61 games, and that won’t be enough to be in the MVP discussion.

If you look at the top-5 MVP voting for 2022, which included Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker and Luka Doncic, all of them played at least 65 games with the winner Jokic playing 74 games.

Clearly the days of the top guys playing 82 games are over, but you still have to be out there for most of them to have a chance at the MVP.

The cutoff for real consideration seems to be about 65 games as guys like Ja Morant and Stephen Curry were frontrunners until injuries kept them out of too many games.

Zion looks trim and fit right now, but none of that matters until we see him on the court for 65+ games next season, which is the only way he has any chance at all to be considered for MVP.