After three frustrating seasons, it seems like the New Orleans Pelicans could soon place Zion Williamson on the trade block, and there are sure to be many teams interested in the gifted but injury-prone young star.
There are two very clear narratives about 2019 No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Zion Williamson. He is infinitely talented but he has had serious trouble staying on the court. During his four years in the league, he has missed an entire season, competed in over 60 games just once, and was limited to just 29 appearances this past season.
Yet, despite how ridiculous his injury history has been, it is hard to overlook how special Zion Williamson is. While he has only played just over 100 games during his career he has still been an All-Star twice and has averaged over 25 points and seven rebounds during his career.
However, it seems like the New Orleans Pelicans have finally grown tired of his health woes and squabbles with the team’s training staff. Word around the NBA is that the team is very much considering shipping off their most talented young player. If they do take that bold step, here are four likely trade scenarios featuring Zion Williamson.
Portland Trail Blazers
- Trail Blazers get: Zion Williamson
- Pelicans get: Jerami Grant (sign-and-trade), 3rd overall pick in 2023 NBA Draft
The Pelicans reportedly are desperate to trade up in the 2023 NBA Draft to take G-League star Scoot Henderson. If the Portland Trail Blazers keep their pick, it could mean Damian Lillard finally asks for his exit from Oregon. A deal between the two teams could be the best way to keep everybody happy.
Portland gets a second star to pair with Lillard and the Pels get a top-three pick and a good replacement in Jermai Grant via a sign-and-trade.
- Cleveland get: Zion Williamson
- Pelicans get: Darius Garland
New Orleans has an eye for Henderson because of his ability to give them a legitimate point guard with star potential. If they are looking for a talented guard and want to rid themselves of Zion Williamson then swapping him for one-time All-Star Darius Garland makes sense.
Williamson and Mitchell could be a filthy combo in the East while a backcourt of Garland and McCollum could be a force in the Western Conference. It’s a win-win.
- Hornets get: Zion Williamson
- Pelicans get: Gordon Hayward, 2nd overall pick in 2023 NBA Draft
If the Pelicans wanted to guarantee they get Scoot Henderson in the draft, they have to trade up to the second spot and that means making a deal with the Charlotte Hornets. While they already have a star point guard, it doesn’t mean Charlotte will give up the pick easily. That’s why having to take on Gordon Hayward’s terrible contract is the only way New Orleans can make sure they get their man on June 22.
New York Knicks
- Knicks get: Zion Williamson, Larry Nance Jr.
- Pelicans get: Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, two first-round picks in 2024
The New York Knicks’ interest in Zion Williamson has been long documented. While many Knicks fans will have flashbacks of Amare Stoudemire in a deal for Williamson, his upside is undeniable. Furthermore, it may also be their best chance to finally move Julius Randle. A former Pelican who might appeal to New Orleans now due to his durability over the last few seasons.
Plus, if the Knicks added bench star Immanuel Quickley and a couple of first-rounders next year in the deal, that could be enough to part with the oft-injured star.