New Orleans Pelicans
How far can Zion Williamson take the New Orleans Pelicans as a rookie? Check out the team preview for the 2019-2020 NBA season! (Steve Marcus/Associated Press)

Is there a team in the NBA more fascinating than the New Orleans Pelicans? Zion Williamson comes to town as the number one pick. They have a reloaded young core after making the Anthony Davis trade. Some say New Orleans can even be a potential playoff team this year? What should we expect from the New Orleans Pelicans as the 2019-2020 NBA Season opens up?

Key Additions: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jaxson Hayes, Lonzo Ball, Derrick Favors, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, JJ Redick, Zion Williamson

I guess it would have been easier to say what isn’t new? Did any team have a bigger face lift than the Pelicans this offseason? Zion Williamson gives the Pelicans a new face of the franchise. Two things hinge of the future success of the Pelicans. How dynamic can this rookie class be? Is it just the Zion show or did New Orleans find gems with Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker? How much better can the Laker pieces get? Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart all need to improve for the Anthony Davis deal to make any sort of sense.

Key Departures: Anthony Davis, Cheick Diallo, Julius Randle

Let’s be honest; how big of a loss is Anthony Davis? All he did was bitch and pout last year. He really didn’t contribute. Davis checked out. Randle is probably the bigger blow. He’s turned into a really good player. Randle was a 21.4 point per game scorer a year ago converting 52 percent of his field goals.

Potential Starting Lineup: Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Derrick Favors

This isn’t a bad starting lineup on the surface. Lonzo needs to start spending his VC on attributes instead of tattoos. The lop dynamic with him and Zion should be fun. I think people sleep a little bit on how good Jrue Holiday is. He is a legit leader that also plays real defense. Holiday averaged 21 points per game on 47 percent shooting. He’s always been able to put the ball in the hole. If Ingram and Zion can carry some scoring load, this team can shock people.

I think the Pelicans have some potential. This is a rookie year for Zion so don’t expect much outside of a low playoff seed. JJ Redick has never missed the playoffs in his 13 year career. That means the Pelicans have to get the 8 seed, right?

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