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The Pelicans Are A Black Hole For Many Stars, Past And Present

When looking at the New Orleans Pelicans and the talent they’ve squandered, the list goes on and on. It started back in 2004 with Chris Paul when they were known as the New Orleans Hornets. After some playoff appearances and exceptional individual play, the Hall-of-Famer had enough. The team was so undesirable that former commissioner David Stern had to take ownership of the franchise while Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. The newly named Pelicans were unsurprisingly a lottery team after that point, where they once again lucked out and ended up with Anthony Davis. While the former Kentucky man was on the path to becoming one of the greatest power forwards ever, the team’s ambitions did not exactly line up with his own. Davis only made the playoffs twice during his tenure in the Big Easy and eventually grew tired of always coming up short in the Spring of 2019. After a very drawn-out saga, he finally got his wish by getting traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on draft night, where he won a championship the very next year. There are other names to mention, like Tyson Chandler and Jrue Holiday, but the latest example comes in the form of Zion Williamson. The #1 pick in the 2019 draft has enjoyed an exciting start to life in the NBA but may already be looking elsewhere. Reports have surfaced that, after only 2 years, Williamson’s family is upset with the situation the former Duke Blue Devil finds himself in. The recent firing of head coach Stan Van Gundy is only one part of the issue. GM David Griffin is one of the most respected names in the NBA, as he built the framework for the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers championship team, but is now entering a delicate situation with his star swingman.

It’s been two short years, but doubts can already be cast about Zion’s future in New Orleans. The franchise will undoubtedly try to please him and co-star Brandon Ingram, with a host of options available, but the clock will surely be ticking. Ingram is locked into a max rookie extension, but Zion may look to force his way out if things continue to sour. With two years left on his rookie contract, he could attempt to sign a qualifying offer, with a trip to free agency occurring after his fifth year in the league, or even force a trade. Still, it seems like the relationship between player and team has not yet reached a point of no return. Regardless of what happens next, this is yet another example of star players not being happy in New Orleans. It’s happened before, it’s happening now, and it will more than likely happen again.