5 biggest offseason questions for the New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The New Orleans Pelicans unexpectedly made the playoffs this season without Zion Williamson and are looking forward to what they might be able to do at full strength.

Unlike a lot of teams, the Pelicans are pretty much set going into next season, as they already have 14 players under contract and will have a top-10 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft as well.

There will likely be some amount of roster churn, but the New Orleans Pelicans have as much stability as they’ve had in a long time, with a solid returning cast and a coach that looks like the long-term solution.

But there are still some questions hanging over the offseason that the Pels will have to answer.

New Orleans Pelicans: 5 questions for the offseason

#1: Is Zion Williamson going to be ready to go?

It seems like we’ve been asking this one forever now, as Zion missed the entire season and we’ve not seen him play in over a year.

He looks ready to go, but we’ve thought that before only to be disappointed with another setback. Getting Zion healthy and 100 percent ready for next season is the top offseason priority for the Pelicans, who are likely to sign him to a max extension this summer.

It’s not hyperbole to say that the Pels’ chances of contending next season hinge on the health of Zion’s foot, so this will be the number one question of the offseason and the only story the national media will write about the New Orleans Pelicans.

#2: Will the Pelicans trade Devonte’ Graham?

I’ve talked about the Pels having a guard problem, namely that they have three small ones and probably don’t have enough minutes for them all.

With Jose Alvarado recently signed and Kira Lewis Jr. coming back from injury and having little trade value, it might be Graham that is shipped out.

According to a recent report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Pelicans have not completely soured on Graham and it may have been injuries that kept him mostly out of the playoff rotation.

On paper he offers something that Alvarado and Lewis Jr. do not, as he can shoot the 3-ball, but he wasn’t consistent enough this season and the Pelicans could try to get bigger and more talented at that spot, potentially with their top 10 draft picks.

Trading Graham may require the Pelicans to attach an asset, which they will be loathe to do since they had to do it last season with Eric Bledsoe. This is not a Bledsoe situation, so the Pelicans will weigh their options and could just bring Graham back.

He’s really the only guy on the roster who is likely to be traded, so stay tuned.

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