NBA Rumors: Zion’s work ethic casts doubt on his future in New Orleans

Following a disappointing comeback season in which he played just 31 games, Zion Williamson’s summer hasn’t gone much better. Aside from some embarrassing personal issues, Zion saw his name come up in trade rumors ahead of the draft. Despite being a superstar when healthy, the New Orleans Pelicans’ apparent willingness to consider trading him says a lot.

While they didn’t move him, he has appeared in only 108 games over four years due to several injuries and has also seen his work ethic called into question by both the team and his teammates. In fact, new comments appear to show Zion is doubling down amid the criticism, possibly to the detriment of his game.

“Now, from what I’ve been told, he’s shown no interest in developing any of those tricks [floaters and pull-up jumpers],” Fox Sports One’s Ric Bucher said about Zion.

Zion’s work ethic casts doubt on his future in New Orleans.

If true, then it is the last thing Pelicans fans should want to hear about their best players’ development. For a player who relies so much on his athleticism and for someone who is injured as much as he is, it’s concerning that he hasn’t taken the time injuries have afforded him to work on adding more skill to his game.

Few people expect him to become a high-volume 3-point shooter, given how seldom he actually attempts them. Be that as it may, his not at least working on a mid-range game appears to validate concerns about his work ethic. It also casts doubt on whether one of the more hyped number-one picks of the last 10 years ever lives up to his potential.

With the NBA preseason less than 90 days away, we will see whether Zion can stay healthy. If he can, then his lack of a floater and jumper might not matter, at least in the short term. However, for the longevity of his career, Zion will need to put in more work on his game.