New Orleans Pelicans Reveal Plan For Zion Williamson In 2021-22 NBA Season

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JB Baruelo

The New Orleans Pelicans faced a huge dilemma before the start of the 2021-22 NBA season when their main guy, Zion Williamson, experienced another health scare. During the 2021 NBA offseason, Williamson was required to undergo surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot. When they discussed Williamson's injury, Pelicans vice president of basketball operations expressed strong optimism that the former No. 1 pick would be available when they play their first regular-season game.

Unfortunately, after 33 regular-season games, Williamson is still currently on the sideline with an injury.

Zion Williamson Experienced Set Backs

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Williamson was initially scheduled to rejoin the Pelicans' practice earlier this month, but it was postponed after he experienced setbacks with his injury. In their official website, the Pelicans shared some details regarding why Williamson's return to the court would be further delayed.

“After experiencing persistent soreness in his right foot, Zion Williamson underwent medical imaging which showed a regression in the bone healing of his fifth metatarsal," the Pelicans said. "As a result, the volume and intensity of his training will be reduced for an extended period to help allow for further bone healing."

Pelican Still Expecting Zion Williamson To Return This Season

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In a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, via Youtube, Shams Charania of The Athletic shared the latest update about Williamson. Despite the bad news that they received regarding his rehabilitation, Charania said that the Pelicans are still hoping to have Williamson back in the 2021-22 NBA season.

"From everything I've been told, the Pelicans do want him to play this season," Charania said, as quoted by Bleacher Report. "I think Zion Williamson in his heart of hearts does want to play this year. So you have two parties that clearly want him back on the floor."

Pelicans Want To End Playoff Drought

It's easy to understand why the Pelicans are still hoping Williamson to return in the 2021-22 NBA season. Despite their early struggle, the Pelicans are yet to give up on their dream of returning to the playoffs this season. They may be currently out of the playoff race, but they are only three wins behind the No. 8 seed Denver Nuggets.

So far, the Pelicans continue to show improvements in their performance and are on a four-game winning streak. Having Williamson back would help them rise to the top of the Western Conference rankings and make a huge noise in the second half of the regular season.

Finding Roster Upgrades

With the absence of Williamson and their early struggle in the 2021-22 NBA season, most people were expecting the Pelicans to become major sellers before the 2022 NBA trade deadline. However, it seems like the Pelicans are planning to do the opposite. While waiting for the return of their main guy, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report revealed that the Pelicans are expected to be "buyers" on the trade market.

The Pelicans have reportedly expressed their willingness to use Jaxson Hayes as their main trade chip to improve their roster around Williamson and Brandon Ingram this season.