Coming into the league, Zion Williamson was thought to be the next LeBron James. However, through his first four years in the league, he has only played in 114 out of a potential 328. This season, many believed that he would be able to make a return at the perfect time when the New Orleans Pelicans were taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in their play-in game. With the season on the line, Williamson was quoted as saying, “Physically I’m fine, now it’s just a matter of when I feel like Zion. I know the atmosphere I’d be entering based off like the playoff experience. So now it’s just a matter of when I feel like Zion”.
This was a quote that left Pelicans fans with a very bad taste in their mouths. Shortly before the game took place, Williamson was on the court doing flashy dunks, leading to many fans believing he was going to suit up. The Pelicans really could have used him as they only lost by a final score of 118-123. After seeing Williamson’s warmup, it is hard to believe that he could not have taken the court and not made a six point difference.
Despite Williamson struggling to stay on the court when he has been able to play, he has been incredible. He is already a two-time All-Star and averages 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 60.5% from the field and 34.3% from three. While these are incredible stats, it may be in the Pelicans’ best interest to move on from him while his trade value is still high.
The case to trade Williamson comes as a result of him not being able to stay on the court. While he has been a star when he has been able to play, he has only taken the court in 34.8% of the regular season games through his first four seasons. It is not feasible for a team to make a championship run if their best player is unavailable consistently.
Despite this, there is a strong chance that the Pelicans could find a team that is very willing to give up a king’s haul to add Zion to their roster. This would allow the team to either bulk up their roster around Brandon Ingram or blow the team up and begin another rebuild.
If they do decide to blow the team up, they would have some very strong trade assets alongside Williamson. Brandon Ingram would also be able to get the Pelicans some hefty draft capital or talented young players.
If Zion Williamson is able to stay healthy through an entire season, the Pelicans could be one of the best teams in the Western Conference. Before he went down with an injury this season 29 games into the year, the Pelicans were the top seed in the West with a record of 23-14.
Along with this, he has incredible per-game stats and if he could remain on the court, he could be one of the best players in the league. Along with this, he has proven that he can lead the Pelicans to be one of the top teams in all of basketball when he is on the court. If New Orleans were to trade Williamson, the Pelicans would be forced to go into a massive rebuild. With the Pelicans never being a free-agent destination, it would be very difficult to build a roster as strong as they currently have again.
The New Orleans Pelicans should give Williamson one more season before they give up on him. He is one of the best players the league has to offer when healthy and the Pelicans are very well-built around him. If he goes on to miss over half of the 2023-24 season, it would likely be in the best interest of the team to blow the team up and begin a rebuild.
If they wait too long and the injury issues continue, teams will not be willing to give up nearly as much as he is worth. While it would be very difficult to find a player of Zion’s caliber again for New Orleans, if he can not suit up, he does not do the team any good.
If you wanna bet on future NBA games we got several payment options for you:
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.