Grade the mock trade: Knicks swoop in to steal Zion Williamson from Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Orleans Pelicans appear to be at a crossroads with star Zion Williamson. The former number-one overall pick has played in just 114 games in his first four seasons as he has been plagued by injury and conditioning issues. Now, there are off-court controversies, and the latest rumors have the Pelicans ready to move on.

New Orleans has a talented young roster and the 14th overall pick in Thursday’s draft. They would love to trade up for Scoot Henderson and may be willing to offer Zion in that deal, but it still may not be possible. The Pelicans will add a talented prospect, but does it mark the end of Williamson’s time in The Big Easy?

If the Pelicans are going to trade Zion, they should field offers from all 30 teams. It is impossible to say what some franchise might offer for Williamson. The Knicks have a mountain of draft capital, and they took a swing for Zion in the latest hypothetical deal.

New Orleans Pelicans trade Zion Williamson to New York in a hypothetical deal

The Knicks do not have a pick in this year’s draft, but they have four first-rounders from other teams plus all of their future firsts to offer in a trade. Analysts have pegged them as star chasers dating back to last summer, but when will the Knicks put their chips on the table? They passed on Donovan Mitchell but could be willing to go all-in on Zion.

How many first-round picks is unknown. Jason Reed notes the floor is two, but it could cost New York more if they are determined to get Zion. Let’s call it three for the sake of this. Quickley is a talented guard that would fetch at least one first if the Knicks moved him. Julius Randle also comes back to New Orleans.

It is a massive haul, but would the two teams do it? Here is a look at the trade for both sides before deciding on a grade for the Pelicans.