Zion Williamson was widely viewed as a generational talent when he declared for the NBA Draft following his one-and-done campaign at Duke, and it came as no surprise the Pelicans scooped him up with the top overall pick in 2019.
Unfortunately, his time in New Orleans hasn’t exactly panned out as he and the team envisioned.
Williamson has missed more games than he’s played since kicking off his NBA career thanks to the injuries that have impacted him since he entered the league, and he’s been plagued by the amount of attention paid to his well-documented struggle with his weight in addition to a number of rumors concerning his work ethic.
There are also a number of reports that suggest there’s a fair amount of friction between the Pelicans and the man who was seemingly destined to be their franchise player, and while New Orleans has seemingly committed to sticking with him, that may not be the case for much longer.
On Wednesday, NBA guru Brian Windhorst dropped his latest batch of juicy gossip during an appearance on Get Up where he suggested the Pelicans are actively exploring a trade that could see Williamson get shipped off to another franchise before the NBA Draft commences on June 22nd.
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) June 14, 2023
Windhorst said he’s heard New Orleans (who currently hold the 14th pick) is seriously considering moving on from Williamson and turning toward the future with a transaction that would allow them to move up in the draft, saying:
“There is a lot of chatter about the picks that could move around the Top 10 in this draft, and one team that has emerged that really would like to move up from their spot at 14 is the New Orleans Pelicans, potentially hunting a star-caliber player—maybe a guy like Scoot Henderson.
The Pelicans have had some cursory discussions from what I’ve been told. There haven’t been any offers made necessarily yet, but it doesn’t take too far of a leap to wonder if the Pelicans are going to make Zion Williamson available ahead of next week’s draft.
To get up to the top five, you’d have to consider a player of this caliber. He’s obviously had injury history—a little bit of offseason drama recently—so I don’t know if anything’s going to truly develop there, but I think it’s fair to say based on my conversations, there’s an eye being kept toward whether the Pelicans would make Zion Williamson available.”
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires.