The New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly been unable to make Zion Williamson and his family happy, according to Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and William Guillory of The Athletic.
Certain family members of Williamson want him on another team and there’s been dysfunction within the Pelicans for months, sources told The Athletic.
The franchise’s decision to part ways with head coach Stan Van Gundy after one season was part of the effort to make Williamson happier.
Williamson’s family claims that the organization “did not live up” to what they felt should be the standard for a star like Williamson.
The report also notes that sources around the NBA are paying close attention to “Williamson’s family members’ thinly veiled unhappiness with the Pelicans and whether those feelings seeped into the player’s own views.”
Williamson, 20, also has a close relationship with former teammate J.J. Redick, who was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks at the trade deadline.
Redick voiced his displeasure with how the Pelicans handled his situation, as he preferred to go to a team in the northeast to be closer to his family.
Williamson reportedly took note of Redick’s comments about the team’s front office because it “stoked some of (his) own feelings with regards to the direction of the franchise.”
Despite all of this, those who know Williamson well say that he remains focused on basketball and helping the team win next season.
The Pelicans have missed the playoffs in the first two seasons of Williamson’s career and he spoke about those frustrations at the end of the season.
“It’s disappointing. I’d be lying to you if I said anything else,” he said. “It’s very disappointing. But the best thing we can do is regroup, come together as a team, come together as coaches this offseason, talk and do what we need to do to be better next year. It’s not much to it, we just gotta be better.”