Grade the Trade: Pelicans ditch Zion Williamson in mock deal with Mavs, Blazers

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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Williamson and Doncic
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP) (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images) /

Grade the Trade: Pelicans ditch Zion Williamson in mock deal with Mavs, Blazers: Grade for the Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks have stayed very active this offseason, wheeling and dealing in free agency and on the trade market, and their team is much better because of it.

Incoming: Zion Williamson, Larry Nance Jr.

Outgoing: Dereck Lively II, Tim Hardaway Jr., Richaun Holmes, One first-round pick, Two first-round pick swaps

This deal would see them take a relatively large gamble with their draft assets but without having to give up many core pieces of their team on the court.

Adding Williamson would be a huge risk. He’s an elite player when on the court, but if he isn’t able to get healthy, Dallas would be left without draft capital and a huge hole at his spot.

That being said, should Williamson get back out on the court on a consistent basis, his athleticism and dominant interior scoring would pair beautifully alongside Luka Doncic’s playmaking.

Snagging Nance Jr. in the deal would be a quietly huge addition, too, as they need to improve their center spot. They would be sending out two big men in the deal but getting two back.

Losing Dereck Lively II before he ever appears in a Dallas uniform stings a bit, but it could be worth it for them to add a guy like Williamson.

With Grant Williams, Seth Curry, and their rookies in place, Dallas may prefer to add depth and roll with the guys they have. And on top of that, playing it safe and trading for a more dependable star could be smarter.

However, this is the type of risk that could pay off with a championship.

Potential starting lineup: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Josh Green, Zion Williamson, Maxi Kleber

Grade: B