The “ZION COULD GO BACK TO DUKE!” talk has reached a fever pitch after the NBA lottery didn’t end up with the New York Knicks getting the first pick.
But that — and the discussions about whether he could pull an Eli Manning and force his way to a team he’d prefer to play for — should be put to rest for now until we hear otherwise.
There are actually a whole bunch of reasons why Zion Williamson should be positively thrilled that the New Orleans Pelicans got the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and that they’ll presumably take him.
Let’s break it all down:
1. New Orleans is an awesome city
The incredible food! The French Quarter! Mardi Gras! The culture and residents, who also make up an amazing sports fanbase! There is so much to love.
2. Zion can lead the full rebuild going on with the Pelicans
Assuming Anthony Davis doesn’t change his mind, New Orleans will deal him and hopefully get back the kind of package they deserve in exchange for one of the NBA’s best players.
And that’s not that worst thing for Williamson. He gets to be at the forefront of building a team of promising young players as its centerpiece, learning how to win instead of being thrust into a contending pressure cooker right away (see below).
3. David Griffin is now running the show
No more Dell Demps in the Big Easy. This is the guy who helped build a champion in Cleveland, and yes, LeBron James is a big reason the Cavaliers won a ring. But he made some smart moves — how about that Kevin Love trade for Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins? — and having him in charge will help surround Williamson with the right talent.
4. There’s less pressure on him in New Orleans
Maybe he should be happy he’s NOT a Knick. The pressure to deliver a winning team to an extremely desperate fanbase with all the focus on him in New York might have been a lot tougher than starring in a smaller market. And what if he went to the Knicks and immediately had to fit in with, say, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving? SO. MUCH. PRESSURE.
5. He’ll play with Jrue Holiday
Let’s assume the Pels hang on to their star point guard who had a career year in 2018-19. That’s got to be worth something.
The Portuguese press usually gets a lot of stick for encouraging transfers that don’t always happen, but we should also pay attention when they do the opposite. Today, newspaper Record brings a headline saying ‘Keizer counts on Bruno’, meaning the Sporting manager expects the midfielder to play against Benfica this weekend. Record brings some information […]
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