Pelicans’ Zion Williamson Turns Into Hot Trade Names, Days Before NBA Draft

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The NBA might’ve had its hands full with The Finals, but things are truly heating up as the offseason arrives and trade rumors begin to swirl before the NBA Draft (June 22).

Former No. 1 pick Zion Williamson has been the hottest name in trade rumors.

Pelicans Looking At Scoot Henderson, Zion Williamson Possibly On The Move

Four years ago, the thought of trading the basketball phenom would have prompted heavy questioning. Now it seems rational for the Pels to move off of Zion and start anew after four seasons of injury conditioning concerns.

The trendiest rumor has been Zion Williamson to the Charlotte Hornets.

NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Pelicans are interested in trading with Charlotte — who hold the second pick in the draft — to try drafting Scoot Henderson.

The major bargaining chip in that exchange would have to be the two-time All-Star in Zion.

Zion’s game is still highly valued around the league, but with little promise of health and a new wave of negative headlines, the separation may be destined to happen.

Williamson has averaged 25.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in his career.

Unfortunately, Zion has only played in 114 games, equivalent to a season and a half, in four years.

Last season, Zion played in only 29 games — missing most of the year with a foot injury. Compounding the injury concern is Zion’s problem with keeping a low weight as he continually hovers around the 300-lb. mark.

In the 2022 offseason, Zion and the Pels agreed to a five-year rookie max extension worth $193 million.

Time For A Fresh Start

Zion Williamson was unavailable for the Pelicans’ failed play-in tournament this postseason. The Oklahoma City Thunder booted the undermanned Pels with an upset loss.

A team burdened by Zion’s injury all year should approach the offseason with all options available.

Considering how quickly the Williamson rumors appeared, the Pels may be laying the seeds for a potential blockbuster trade.

Moving off Zion Williamson could work in both sides’ favor.

The Pelicans start to brace every season with less concern for an injured All-Star and build around a whole team.

Zion can escape New Orleans — a city full of trouble, or fun, depending on a person’s level of responsibility.

New Orleans holds the No. 14 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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