According to a report from The Athletic, there are some members in Williamson’s family who want him out of New Orleans. They’re not fond of the roster that David Griffin is building. It also doesn’t help that Zion has already dealt with two head coaches in just two seasons.
Luckily for the Pelicans, they have most of the leverage in this situation. Williamson is under contract for the foreseeable future and probably won’t be able to force his way out of town. That being said, the front office has to make sure it does everything in its power to strengthen its relationship with the former No. 1 pick.
So how can New Orleans save its relationship with Williamson? NBA insider Ric Bucher believes the Pelicans have to hire Mike Krzyzewski once he officially steps down from his role as Duke.
“The second thing I’m doing is I’m going to hire Mike Krzyzewski now that he’s in retirement,” Bucher said on The Herd. “I don’t know if it’s as a coach or as a consultant, but somehow, some way, I am getting him into my organization. While I don’t believe that college coaches necessarily make great NBA coaches, I do know that Mike has a way of talking to stars and obviously has a relationship with Zion.”
"Somehow, some way, I am getting Coach K into my organization… Mike has a way of talking to stars and obviously has a relationship with Zion."
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) June 18, 2021
It’d be interesting to see Coach K would fare in the NBA, but this suggestion from Bucher seems a bit ambitious.
Krzyzewski said that he’s retiring after next season in large part because he wants to spend more time with his family. The thought of him leaving behind one of the best college basketball programs for the Pelicans just doesn’t sound right.
Assuming this option is off the table for New Orleans, it’ll have to find another way to keep Williamson happy. That means Griffin will have to find a long-term answer at head coach and bring in a few more players who can help the franchise win now.