Several young players took flight during the 2021-22 NBA season. On Fox Sports' "Skip and Shannon: Undisputed," Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe commented on the list of top-10 players under the age of 25. The list was compiled by anonymous NBA executives.
The executives ranked Luka Doncic at No.1. Bayless praised his abilities, saying that even the best defenders in the world would fail to stop him.
On the list, Zion Williamson — the first pick of the 2019 NBA draft — was ranked sixth. This is fairly generous considering that he missed an entire season in just his third year in the league.
Bayless defended Williamson's position at No. 6, stating:
"All I know is when Zion is right, he's the best. It's when he's healthy and when he's fit.
"When he's right, and he has been for stretches of his career. He dominates in ways even Luka cannot dominate, because he's truly unstoppable in the paint. Truly unstoppable. He's going to make 70% of his shots."
How good can the New Orleans Pelicans be in the 2022-23 NBA season?
The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the more divisive teams in the Western Conference as we move closer to the 2022-23 season.
The Pelicans have a burgeoning superstar in Zion Williamson, star players in Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, bench depth, and formidable role players. This is largely considered to be the make-up of an above-average NBA team today, if not a contender.
However, the prospect for the Pelicans in a severely strengthened Western Conference isn't too bright.
Williamson is yet to prove that he can remain healthy for a sufficient amount of time and be available in the playoffs. Williamson, however, has looked like a superstar in the games he has played in his short career.
The Pelicans took the Phoenix Suns to six games in the first round of the 2022 playoffs. The prevailing sentiment was that if Williamson had played, they might have even had the chance to be in the conference semifinals.
The upside, therefore, is the development of raw talent under the aegis of Willie Green, who was appointed as the coach just last year.
Green led the team to its first playoff berth in four years.
The Pelicans do have the potential to be a top-four team in the West. However, it is likely that this potential will be realized later rather than sooner, owing to the number of immediate contenders in the West.