Not only were the New Orleans Pelicans extremely aggressive this offseason, but they have turned their roster into a legit playoff threat in a crowded Western Conference. After drafting Zion Williamson No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft to be the future and face of the franchise, things didn’t pan out how New Orleans had hoped last year when Zion injured his knee in the preseason.
As a result, Zion did not come onto the scene for the Pelicans until January 22nd, 2020 and boy did he welcome himself to the rest of the league! Against the Spurs in his NBA regular-season debut, he went for 22 points, including 4-for-4 from downtown, and 7 rebounds in just 18 minutes. Zion Williamson had an amazing NBA debut and scored below 10 points in just one of his 24 games he played in last year.
Williamson is going to have a huge impact on this organization for years to come, but he is not the only superstar player on this roster. Brandon Ingram came into his own last season, being named an All-Star and earning the Most Improved Player Award for the 2019-20 season after averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and shooting 39.1% from three-point range. With Ingram and Williamson as the core two players the Pelicans will build around for years to come, they are definitely in a great position as a franchise.
New Orleans traded away one of their star veterans in Jrue Holiday this offseason and while he has been a valuable asset for the Pelicans over the years on both ends of the court, they have a lot of faith in second-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s abilities to contribute at a high-level as a combo-guard. Getting rid of Holiday was not all that bad either because they were able to bring in one of the better rebounding centers in the NBA, Steven Adams.
With Adams, Williamson and Jaxson Hayes as the three primary big men in the Pelicans frontcourt, along with Ingram on the wing and a bunch of role players in J.J. Redick, Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe and Josh Hart, the New Orleans Pelicans are on-track to have a fantastic year and make a push to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
With that being said, here are 4 bold predictions for the New Orleans Pelicans heading into the 2020-21 NBA season.