The New Orleans Pelicans 2022-23 season has one main storyline; the return of Zion Williamson. After the Pelicans made the playoffs last season and were surprisingly competent against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns, the hope is that the return of Williamson, who missed the entire 2021-22 season, will elevate New Orleans to become one of the top teams in the Western Conference.
Hernangomez warns the rest of the NBA about Zion
Despite constant rumors about Williamson’s health and weight during his time away from the court, everyone has echoed the same sentiment heading into the season; Williamson is ready to go. This is great news for the Pelicans, as Williamson has the potential to take New Orleans to the next level after their unexpected playoff run last season.
One guy who has seen Williamson’s return to the court firsthand is Willy Hernangomez. After spending the past two seasons with the Pels, Hernangomez knows just how good Zion can be. And after more than a year off, Williamson has surely gotten fed up with the talks of his demise. Hernangomez offered an outlook on Williamson’s return that is quite frightening and is sure to catch the attention of the 29 other teams in the league.
The Pelicans need Zion Williamson to stay healthy this season
Hernangomez’s outlook is scary indeed, but that’s what happens when you allow a player to enter the season with a chip on their shoulder. Williamson has been on the sidelines seeing all the chatter about him for over a year now, and he finally has a chance to prove all his haters wrong. He’s had time to prepare for the season, and it certainly doesn’t sound like he wasted a second of it this offseason.
While this is encouraging, the Pelicans are hoping their star player will be able to stay on the court for them this season. With Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum already in tow, adding Williamson gives New Orleans the potential to field a really strong star trio this season.
But Williamson is the piece that completes the puzzle; without him, there are no playoff hopes this season. Even after last season’s run, it’s clear the Pelicans need Williamson in order to do actual damage in the playoffs. Making it there is fun, but winning is even better, and if the Pelicans intend on winning this season, they better hope that Hernangomez’s outlook on Williamson is accurate, or else it could result in a very disappointing season.