New Orleans Pelicans seem willing to trade Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

On Monday, it was announced that the New Orleans Pelicans would be “aggressively pursuing” a top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft to acquire the highly-touted G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson.

In response to this, we put together a handful of hypothetical trade packages that could help the Pelicans land the number two or number three pick so that they could draft Henderson (the San Antonio Spurs will obviously be drafting Victor Wembanyama with the first pick).

Minor spoiler alert: almost all of those hypotheticals involved the Pelicans parting ways with one of either Brandon Ingram or Zion Williamson. And today, NBA Insider Marc Stein shed some more light on the situation on his substack (subscription required). There, Stein mentioned that the Pelicans would prefer to part ways with Williamson rather than Ingram. This is what he had to say about the situation:

"“I heard this week from one well-placed observer who is convinced that the Pelicans would indeed consider dealing Williamson away if it meant they could draft Henderson, pointing to a rising level of exasperation within the organization regarding Williamson’s ongoing availability issues and overall approach,” Stein wrote in his substack. “My read, at this juncture, is that the Pelicans are less inclined to consider trading Brandon Ingram in the same scenario.”"

He also mentioned that one insider told him that they think the Charlotte Hornets (the team that owns the second overall pick in the draft) likely wouldn’t be willing to part ways with that pick for Williamson due to his injury history.

Despite Williamson’s success when he has been on the court, his value appears to have diminished because of his inability to stay healthy. Last season, he missed the final 45 games of the year with a strained hamstring he suffered in early January. In total, he’s missed 194 of 308 (63%) possible regular season games in his career.

Meanwhile, Rafael Barlowe of NBA Big Board reported that the Houston Rockets (the team that owns the fourth overall pick in the draft) were interested in trading it in exchange for Williamson. However, given how sought after Henderson is, it is highly unlikely that he would still be available at number four in the draft.

Next. 5 trades for Pelicans to move up and draft Scoot Henderson. dark