The New Orleans Pelicans’ poor play on the court has not even been the worst part of this season as things are getting bleaker for Zion Williamson.
The New Orleans Pelicans literally hit the lottery in the NBA Draft lottery when the balls bounced their way and they landed the first overall pick and the right to draft Zion Williamson, who is the most anticipated rookie since LeBron James.
The keyword there, “is”, is important to note, as Zion still has not made his NBA debut. He lit it up in the preseason, but as Christmas time approaches, we have still not seen Zion.
Zion underwent surgery on his right meniscus at the beginning of the season and the initial timetable to return was 6-8 weeks. That puts his return right around Christmas time, however, he still has not resumed basketball duties and it he may not even return until 2020.
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This is a tough blow for the Pelicans and it is part of the reason why the team is 6-18 but you cannot blame them for being cautious with Zion. The thought-process here is obviously in the long-term and only looking in the short-term and getting Zion out there is not the way to manage him.
With the Pelicans be close to a playoff spot if Zion played in these games? It is hard to tell, but my money says yes. That does not mean the team should rush him back after seeing the results on the court.
And while that is perfectly logical, it is still very hard to not be concerned about the status of the Pelicans’ newest superstar. Health concerns were already a factor around Zion entering the league because of his unheralded size and this is already formulating in the NBA.
I do not want to put any sort of curse on Zion but we all know the coveted rookies that never panned out because of injury. How are we supposed to know for sure if Zion’s body can handle recovery from a surgery like this? His biggest asset is his athleticism, which is a problem.
The fact that it is already taking longer than the team expected and the fact that the team is letting information out but is still kind of hush-hush about the whole thing only raises another red flag. This one surgery is not one that will end a career, but it is one that could be the first domino in a chance of terrible events.
So no, don’t feel silly if you are worried about Zion Williamon’s current injury and his future health — I know the New Orleans Pelicans are probably worried right now too.