Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum made the New Orleans Pelicans look like an NBA season contender

Zion and CJ... the best they can be!

Zion and CJ… the best they can be!
picture: Getty Images

Bourbon Street in New Orleans is in a loop. Every night, the street reverts to a state of repetitive debauchery with pinpoint accuracy. Lonely men drifting in and out of neon red strip clubs with boxes of Natty Lights. Cops on horses wander among sleeping tramps, screaming preachers, puddles of urine and pizza boxes. In a place where sin is legal, cops are as useless as an ashtray on a bicycle. There is no controlling chaos. Bourbon and Canal Street are just a small part of what New Orleans offers as a city. New Orleans was the largest slave market in the United States. This shame created a melting pot of cultures, religions, and traditions. Today, the city is one of the country’s most intense cultural centers, offering visitors high-class experiences in dining, contemporary art, and mysticism.

People come to Bourbon Street to represent their spoiled imaginations before returning home to the mediocre. It’s a tourist trap and Caligulacharacter simulation. And while Bourbon Street is the last of the places freaks can fly their flags, one element isn’t noticeably absent. You’re more likely to find a public bath than a group of people in swan shirts. And why are you? Since arriving in town from Charlotte in 2002 – first Hornets, now Pelicans – the team’s success has been as grim as the spirit of Bourbon Street.

Throughout its 20-year history, the team has participated in the playoffs eight times, and has only been eliminated in the first round twice. Even worse, Pelicans were one of the worst offenders of crafting and then trading super talents. First was Chris Paul, who came to the team as the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. He took the team to the playoffs twice during his six seasons in the city. It was clear early on that Paul was special. He was the best all-around guard since John Stockton, and he seemed to have a limitless ceiling. By his third season, he averaged 21 DPI while leading the league in assists (11.6 per game) and steals (2.7 per game). But the front office failed to surround Paul with enough talent to keep him satisfied in a small market. He was replaced by the Clippers in 2011 in exchange for a disappointing group of role players.

Next came Anthony Davis, the first pick in the 2012 draft. He is the 75th best player of all time and remains one of the top players in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, but as with Paul, New Orleans Davis also lost. The Bills once again failed to build a rival around their star. Their best attempt was to trade for DeMarcus Cousins, a talented but temperamental striker who knew nothing but loss in Sacramento. Cousins ​​was a free agent that following summer, and when he tore up the AFC Champions League in the January game – he later missed the playoffs – the Bales let him walk that summer for nothing. By the end of the following season, with Davis once again the only All-Star on the roster, he demanded a trade. As the second generation talent to leave the franchise in less than a decade, they’ve at least managed to get a better package for their star this time around and precious capital.

Prior to the 2019 NBA Draft, the Pelicans had a six percent chance of winning the lottery immediately. But when it comes to the draft, at least, New Orleans has always had a bit of luck. They won the choice award that year, Duke star Zion Williamson, the most popular talent since LeBron James in 2003. Williamson’s Herculaneous had his first two seasons, averaging 27 DPI (61 per cent FG) by his second season. Weight issues and a fifth metatarsal fracture in his foot kept him out of the 2021-2022 season. During the season-long rehab period, critics got out of the woodwork. Many wondered if Zion would remain healthy. Memes related to Zion’s weight gain littered the Twitterverse. Trade aggregators are beginning to build on what it will look like for the Pels when they lose their third star. Then, in the middle of last season, GM David Griffin achieved the franchise’s best deal by acquiring CJ McCollum from the Portland Trailblazers without giving up the key pieces. This was the type of trade that Pels were usually on the losing end of. This was only the second time that New Orleans “won” a trade (cousins ​​being the first).

McCollum’s talent and leadership they were immediately feltEli. The Pelicans finished last season with a record 36-46 — good for ninth in the Western Conference — and a chance to make the playoffs through the Pput in tdecor. McCollum pairs up with All-Star Brandon Ingram to form a formidable core along with criminally underrated center Jonas Valančiūnas, scoring guard Devonte’ Graham, and powerful maestro Larry Nance Jr. Remember dr.lucky raft? Griffin fixed the 2021 draft, by capturing defensive ace Herb Jones (35th selection), and captain Trey Murphy III (seventeenth selection), while also signing uncut goalkeeper Jose Alvarado.. Suddenly, swans became competitive. After making the last entry in the Play-In . ContestIn the season, they took the Phoenix Suns to a six-game long streak, proving that veterans and rookies had a legitimate threat to the future under promising young coach Willie Green.

For the first time in franchise history, New Orleans can claim a distinguished front office, coach, core, and star. This is the best Pels have ever been prepared for the present and the future. All the pieces have lined up to give New Orleans a team that matches the fame of the city’s culture and history. With Ingram and McCollum as the second and third All-Star options, and free pieces providing offensive depth and versatility, all Pels needed was a centerpiece of the first choice to return to health and complete the Tournament puzzle. Watch out, here comes Zion.

Judging by the Bales’ first pre-season game, this season the powerful striker has appeared in the best shape of his young career. Adding Zion to a talented position puts this team in a shaky spot they’ve never seen before: the contenders. The Bills must challenge the top of the West alongside the Nuggets, Clippers and reigning champion Warriors.

After a history of losing two of the best players the game has ever seen to trade, the Pelicans have finally built a team surrounded around superstar Zion that will make it harder for them to ever get away. He signed a five-year, $193 million junior extension this summer. And while the extension signing isn’t a sign he’s destined to spend his entire career with the Pels, it does give the team a five-year timeline to show Zion they’re committed to leaving the past behind and finally giving Bourbon Street a reason. To celebrate something as much as it is swarm immorality.

Leave a Comment