Orlando Magic facing stiff competition for league’s best coaches

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Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson is a superstar player, but his future with the New Orleans Pelicans is uncertain. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Zion Williamson will lead them

4. New Orleans Pelicans

At first glance, it would make more sense if the New Orleans Pelicans would be more attractive to coaches. But the problem is that job is not as stable as the other jobs listed ahead.

Not necessarily in terms of being fired, but in terms of the roster could drastically change before the season starts. This happened in Houston as Stephen Silas got hired and James Harden and Russel Westbrook got traded in short order.

There have been reports and rumblings that some of  Zion Williamson’s family members would prefer if he was on another team. But, even with that report, I doubt Williamson is moved anytime soon.

That will still hang over their heads.

Even though the Williamson incident on its own is not concerning, it is the fact that in recent memory, there have been a couple of “questionable” incidents around that organization.

The struggle of building around Anthony Davis and the end of the J.J. Redick tenure finishing on a bad note combined, with this Williamson situation does not paint the organization in the best of lights.

There are pretty big expectations to win immediately. They fired Alvin Gentry even though the Pelicans fell just short of the playoffs in 2020 and then let Stan Van Gundy go after one year too as he struggled to connect with the young roster and breakthrough to the playoffs.

Even with all of that, the Pelicans have one of the most intriguing rosters in the league. There is a reason New Orleans was considered to be one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA last season.

The Pelicans have two all-stars in Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, combined with a supporting cast that has potential.

Lonzo Ball has continued to get better and better each season as he continues to be a great on-ball defender. The improvement occurred on the offensive end as he has averaged a career-high 14.6 points per game and a career-high 37.8-percent from three. It will be interesting to see how the Pelicans play his free agency.

The Pelicans also have a group of young guys with potential in Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis Jr. to go with veterans such as Steven Adams. New Orleans should be primed to take a step forward.

The Pelicans have underachieved, and there were struggles last season between Van Gundy and some of the players. Even with the promising roster, there are still concerns within the organization, which is why the Pelicans are not at the top of the list.