New Orleans Pelicans could blow it up this summer: Zion Williamson and others potentially on trade block

The New Orleans Pelicans are set to blow it up this summer, including a potential Zion Williamson trade.

New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off an ugly four-game sweep at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

New Orleans didn’t really stand much of a chance against the Thunder. That’s especially true with Zion Williamson sidelined for the series due to an injury. Fellow forward Brandon Ingram was not 100%. Meanwhile, veteran guard C.J. McCollum struggled big time.

One day after seeing his Pelicans get swept out, front office head David Griffin met with the media. He had a rather interesting take on offseason plans as it relates to the team.

“In the past, we’ve always erred on the side of continuity, and our takeaway has always been let’s see this group healthy. I think we’ve seen it enough. I think we had some really good opportunity to see Zion play a career-high in games.

I think we saw it for segments of time well enough to understand that we’ve got a lot of work to do. Because it’s a historically good Western Conference, there are teams that didn’t make the playoffs that are going to get radically better this offseason. We need to do the same. I think you’ll see a real sense of urgency from all of us to do that.”

New Orleans Pelicans VP David Griffin, via Michael Scotto of HoopsHype

This certainly sounds like a man who is about to change things up big time in the Bayou during the summer.

Related: Zion Williamson and the best NBA players of 2024

Will the New Orleans Pelicans trade Zion Williamson?

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

That’s the biggest question right now. Williamson, 23, played in a grand total of 114 games during his first four seasons with the Pelicans after they made him the No. 1 pick back in 2019.

Availability is the best asset. Despite playing a career-high 70 games this past regular season, Williamson was not available to New Orleans in the playoffs after suffering a hamstring injury during the NBA Play-In Tournament.

Williamson did sign a five-year, $197.23 million contract extension with the Pelicans back in July of 2022. However, his inability to stay healthy has been a major issue for New Orleans. As currently formed, the Pelicans’ roster just is not good enough to compete with Williamson sidelined.

It will be all about the type of market he receives if the Pelicans do put the star forward up for sale.

It’s more likely that the Pelicans look to get something of substance for Ingram. The forward has one more year remaining on his current contract. If the Pels can get some more backcourt help by trading Ingram, it would make a ton of sense.

Related: Is it time for the New Orleans Pelicans to trade Zion Williamson?

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