The 20-year-old superstar is being steered away from the Pelicans by family members who want him on another team, The Athletic reported Thursday. NBA executives reportedly have described the Pelicans as a “heap of dysfunction.”
Sources close to Williamson, however, told The Athletic that the youngster is still focused on playing and is committed to helping the Pelicans win as he goes into his third season in the league. Though, it appears the seed has been planted. The team has a club option on Williamson’s contract for the 2022-23 season.
Some of Williamson’s frustrations with the team’s play this season seeped out.
As the Pelicans missed out on the playoffs for the third straight season, Williamson appeared to be unhappy with the direction of the organization.
“Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is kind of insane, so I’m not going to sit here and say we’re close,” he said in May. “The reality of it is it was very disappointing not to be a part of the play-in tournament and stuff.”
New Orleans blew 14 double-digit leads and lost five of their last six games.
The Pelicans on Wednesday fired Stan Van Gundy as their head coach after just one season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.