Zion Williamson has not played a basketball game since May 4, 2021. He has been such a ghost in New Orleans that CJ McCollum hadn't interacted with him more than a week after he joined the team. There hasn't really been an update on Zion since early January as he has continued his rehab "away from the team."
Yesterday on ESPN Kendrick Perkins used the Zion Williamson situation as the reason that the Pelicans should move their entire franchise to Seattle or Las Vegas.
As much as I'd love to see a basketball team back in Seattle, let's not pretend that the refurbished version of the SuperSonics would become more popular in the Pacific Northwest than the Seahawks. And if they went to Las Vegas they would just become another attraction. If Perkins has a problem with the Pelicans giving away tickets in New Orleans wait until half the crowd at home games in Vegas have been comped because they complained to a manager about how long their wait for the all-you-can-eat buffet was.
Saying an NBA team comes in second to the local NFL team is a reason the basketball team should be moved is justification for about 25 franchises to be scouting practice facilities in Seattle. Which NBA teams are more popular than the football team across town? Should the Mavericks move because they're not as popular as the Cowboys? How about the Nets or Warriors? Just about every NFL team is more popular than the nearest basketball team.
Besides the Pelicans attendance isn't even that bad. They are 15th in attendance percentage. The numbers say they pack their arena for home games compared to teams like the Wizards and Pistons. And neither of those frachises are as popular as their local NFL team. Who thinks they should move to Seattle?
If you want to move a franchise, that's fine, but doing it because Zion has gotten hurt and disappeared is insane. If Zion had been drafted by any other team he'd probably be in the exact same situation right now. If he was an invisible New York Knick right now nobody would be arguing James Dolan move the team to Vegas. Hell, we just watched James Harden demand a trade out of New York. So what makes Seattle or Vegas any more likely to be able to keep a star than New Orleans? Damian Lillard refuses to leave Portland and they're the 81st media market in America.
Zion has been aweosme at times, but mostly he's been a disappointment. It seems that no human being is meant to be built like Zion and able to move like Zion at the same time. He's one-of-one and we might be seeing the worst case scenario play out as he's unable to stay healthy.
If the Pelicans are smart they'll move him while there are still franchises who think it's a New Orleans problem. There are plenty of reasons to move a franchise, but whatever is going on with Zion Williamson isn't one of them.