After reaching the playoffs for the first time in four years in 2022, the New Orleans Pelicans took a bit of a step back in 2023, as they failed to win their play-in game and missed the postseason altogether. The season had started with so much promise, with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram both healthy and firing on all cylinders, leading to a 24-14 start.
New Orleans was looking like a deep, talented team that could be a true contender, but as has been the case in seemingly every year recently for the Pelicans faithful, the good times did not last long. Neither Williamson nor Ingram were able to stay on the floor consistently, which led to a major slide for New Orleans down the Western Conference hierarchy.
Williamson missed 53 games, including the final 45 of the regular season, while Ingram missed 37 of his own. After four seasons together in the Bayou, the pair have only played together in 93 of a possible 308 regular season games.
While the absence of head coach Willie Green’s two best players led to a predictably sluggish finish to the campaign in terms of wins and losses, those absences also gave other guys in the rotation enough playing time to shine and burnish their value – should the Pelicans decide to get busy in the trade market this offseason.