Were all the rumors about Zion Williamson not true?

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Prior to the 2023 NBA Draft, there were rumors circulating that the New Orleans Pelicans were dangling franchise cornerstone Zion Williamson as trade bait to land a deal with either the Charlotte Hornets or Portland Trail Blazers in order to move up in the draft and select G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson.

However, if you ask the team’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, David Griffin, about these rumors he will swiftly shoot them down. Or, at least, that’s what he did earlier this week during his appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio. Here is the clip:

"“I would say that it’s as good as it’s ever been,” Griffin told SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I think what’s unfortunate is he’s a name that generates clicks no matter what the link says. Zion [Williamson] puts on his socks – people click on that. And so it makes it really easy for people to manufacture rumor around him because they don’t have to have any kind of actual credibility behind what they say to generate clicks.”“As a society – and this is true across all platforms – reality doesn’t matter anymore. Generating clicks matters. And unfortunately for [Williamson], he’s an oddity and someone that people pay a great deal of attention to and manufacture a lot of stories around.”“We never had a single Get Get conversation that [Williamson] was part of. I think that people perceive that we would be willing to move off of [Williamson] because of all the injuries, because of all the noise that surrounds him. Fortunately for us, the noise never actually matches what we’re experiencing.”"

Now, it doesn’t take a doctorate degree in public relations to understand that what Griffin is saying is the textbook answer to any question that involves trade rumors surrounding players that are still currently on your roster. However, between this, Griffin’s recent comments about Williamson understanding what needs to be done to stay healthy, and Williamson’s own comments on the subject matter, it does feel like the two camps are in a good place right now.

With that in mind, though, there is still plenty of time left before the 2023-24 campaign kicks off, so we’ll just have to wait and see if the Griffin/Williamson partnership is here to stay or if a breakup is really in the cards after all.

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