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New Orleans Pelicans provide conclusive Zion Williamson trade update

We’ve heard Zion Williamson’s name come up in trade rumors at each major junction of the NBA offseason. The former No. 1 overall pick remains with the New Orleans Pelicans, but the summer is far from over, and Damian Lillard is still likely to be moved.

Does that mean the two-time All-Star could still be traded from the Pelicans? Probably not. Or at least not this offseason.

According to Pelicans EVP of basketball operations David Griffin, New Orleans never once had any trade discussions regarding Zion Williamson. Here’s what the key member of the Pels’ front office had to say on the matter.

“We never had a single (trade) conversation that Zion was part of. I would say that it’s as good as it’s ever been (relationship w/Pels). I think what’s unfortunate is that he’s a name that generates clicks no matter what the link says. Zion puts on his socks. People click on that. So it makes it really easy for people to manufacture rumor around him, because they don’t have to have any actual credibility behind what they say to generate clicks. Generating clicks matters. So unfortunately for Zion, he’s just an oddity and somebody that people pay a great deal of attention to and manufacture a lot of stories around.”

Pelicans’ David Griffin on Zion Williamson trade rumors

Even though Williamson, 23, likely draws a ton of leaguewide trade interest, it doesn’t sound as if the Pelicans have ever seriously thought about parting with the face of their franchise. Despite playing in just 29 games last season, the Pelicans have high hopes for the current direction of the team with Williamson leading the way.

Related: Five most underrated signings of the NBA free agency period

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