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New Orleans Pelicans

Report: J.J. Redick’s ugly departure from Pelicans left stinging effect on Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson and J.J. Redick
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans organization looks like it is currently in disarray.

After parting ways with head coach Stan Van Gundy earlier this week,  there seems to be some issues with young star Zion Williamson. Williamson’s family reportedly wants him to change teams. The ugly split between the team and veteran J.J. Redick earlier this season reportedly left a mark on Williamson.

“When the Pels traded J.J. Redick to Dallas in March, it not only upset Redick but also is said to have irritated Williamson,” wrote Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and William Guillory of The Athletic. “Redick had asked to either be traded before the season or to stay in New Orleans all season for family reasons and proceeded to blast the organization and executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin on his podcast after the trade. Redick was a veteran with whom Williamson had grown comfortable in their two seasons together, and the dysfunction Redick accused the Pelicans of harboring is said to have stoked some of Williamson’s own feelings with regards to the direction of the franchise.”

Redick signed with New Orleans during the 2019 offseason. He provided veteran leadership and an offensive boost to a young Pelicans team.

However, this past season, Redick lost his shooting touch and playing time, leading to him asking for a trade to team closer to his family in Brooklyn.

Redick claimed that the front office agreed to the request only to back out and deal the shooting guard to the Mavs instead.

It seems that the way the organization failed to honor its word with Redick has left a bad taste in Williamson’s mouth.

Only time will tell if that leads to the young star forcing his way out of New Orleans.

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