Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum have the New Orleans Pelicans looking like contenders for this NBA season

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

Zion and CJ… the best they can be!
Picture: beautiful pictures

Bourbon Street in New Orleans exists in a loop. Each night, the streets revert to their debauchery, over and over again with astonishing precision. Lonely men in and out of red neon strip clubs holding cans of Natty Light. Cops on horseback stroll among sleeping funerals, screaming preachers, puddles of urine and pizza boxes. In a place where crime is legal, the police are as useless as the ashtray on a bicycle. There is no controlled chaos. Bourbon and Canal Street are just a fraction of what New Orleans has to offer as a city. New Orleans was the largest slave market in the United States. This disgrace has created a collection of cultures, religions and traditions. Today, the city is one of the densest cultural hubs in the country, offering visitors upmarket experiences in dining, contemporary art and mysticism.

People go to Bourbon Street to fulfill their depraved fantasies before returning home to the mediocrity. It is both a tourist trap and a Caligula-Follow the theme simulation. And while Bourbon Street is one of the last places freaks can fly their flags, one element isn’t noticeably absent. You are more likely to find a public bath than a group of people wearing Pelicans. And why would you? Since arriving in the city from Charlotte in 2002 – first the Hornet, now the Pelicans – the team’s success has been as dark as the character of Bourbon Street.

During its 20-year history, the team has reached the knockout stages eight times and has only been eliminated from the first round twice. Even worse, the Pelicans are one of the worst culprits in the buying and selling of superstar talent. First it was Chris Paul, who came to the team as the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft. He took the team to the knockout stages twice in his six seasons in town. It became clear early on that Paul was special. He is the most comprehensive defender since the days of John Stockton, and seems to have an infinite ceiling. By his third season, he averaged 21 ppg while leading the league in assists (11.6 per game) and steals (2.7 per game). But the popular office was unable to surround Paul with enough talent to keep him content in a small market. He was traded to the Clippers in 2011 for a package of roles that were too low-key.

Next up was Anthony Davis, No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft. He’s the Top 75 Player of All Time and remains one of the NBA’s Greatest Bigs with the Los Angeles Lakers, but, like, well with Paul, New Orleans also lost Davis. The Pels again failed to build a rival around their superstar. Their best effort was to trade for problematic DeMarcus Cousins, a talented but temperamental striker who only lost in Sacramento. Cousins ​​was a free agent the following summer, and when he tore his ACL net in a game in January – then missed the playoffs – the Pels let him walk that summer. but nothing. At the end of the next season, when Davis was once again the only All-Star on the roster, he asked for an exchange. As the second generation of talent to leave the franchise in less than a decade, they were able to at least earn a better package for their superstar this time around and precious draft capital.

Before the 2019 NBA Draft, the Pelicans had a six percent chance of winning the lottery outright. But when it comes to drafts, at least, New Orleans has always had a bit of luck. They won that year’s award, Duke superstar Zion Williamson, the most heralded talent since LeBron James in 2003. Williamson was Herculian in his first two seasons, averaging 27 ppg (61 parts). hundred FG) in the second season. Weight problems and a fifth ankle fracture in his foot have kept him out of action for the 2021-2022 season. During his season-long rehab, detractors emerged from the woodwork. Many people wonder if Zion will ever be healthy. Mock photos of Zion’s weight gain have flooded the Twitterverse. Trade aggregators began formulating what the Pels losing a third superstar would look like. Then, midway through last season, current GM David Griffin scrapped the franchise’s best deal by acquiring CJ McCollum from the Portland Trailblazers without giving up key pieces. This is the type of trade that Pels is usually in at the end of a losing streak. This is only the second time New Orleans has “won” in a trade (Cousin is the first).

McCollum’s Leadership and Talents to be feel it immediatelyely. The Pelicans finished last season with a 36-46 record – 9th in the Western Conference – and had a chance to qualify through Group P.lies in Tdecorate. McCollum joins All-Star Brandon Ingram to form a formidable core alongside criminally underrated centre-back Jonas Valančiūnas, goal-scoring guard Devonte’ Graham, and tough-back conductor Larry Nance Jr. Remember what was said above dLucky friends? Griffin ended the 2021 Draft, using defensive ace Herb Jones (35th pick), and keen goalscorer Trey Murphy III (17th pick), while also signing the guard. no skills Jose Alvarado.. Suddenly, the Pelicans compete. After making the Last Post of the Joining Tournamentseason, they sent the Phoenix Suns into a six-game stretch, proving that veterans and rookies have become a legitimate threat to the future under promising young coach Willie Green.

For the first time in franchise history, New Orleans can claim an elite main office, coach, core, and superstardom. This is the best that Pels has ever set up for the present and the future. All the pieces lined up to give New Orleans a team that matched the cultural and historical prominence of the city. With Ingram and McCollum being All-Star tier second and third picks, and the free pieces providing offensive depth and variety, all the Pels needed was their first choice center. to get back healthy and complete the championship puzzle. Watch out, Zion is here.

Judging by the Pels’ first pre-season game, the power forward enters this season in the best form of his youth career. Adding Zion to a talented team puts the team in a rare place they’ve never been before: The Opponent. The Pels will challenge at the top of the West alongside the Nuggets, Clippers and defending champion Warriors.

After a history of losing two of the best players the game has ever seen to trades, the Pelicans have finally built a cast around his superstar Zion, which will make him hard to beat. catch up. He signed a five-year rookie contract extension worth $193 million this summer. And while signing an extension isn’t a sign he intends to spend his entire career with the Pels, it does provide the team with a five-year timeline to show Zion they’re committed to letting go of the past and ultimately giving Bourbon Street a reason to celebrate something as much as it is does debauchery.


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