Trade Proposal Sends Pelicans’ Zion Williamson To Jazz

One NBA writer proposed that the Utah Jazz acquire Zion Williamson from the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason. 

NBA, Jazz, Pelicans, Zion Williamson
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Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report proposed the following trade idea between the Jazz and Pelicans: 

Zion Williamson for John Collins, Walker Kessler, another young talent and a boatload of Utah’s picks

Williamson appeared in a career-high 70 games this season. He averaged 22.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting 57.0% from the field, 33.3% from beyond the arc and 70.2% from the free-throw line. 

The first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson hurt his hamstring in the 7-8 play-in game versus the Los Angeles Lakers and missed the 2024 playoffs.

The Oklahoma City Thunder swept the Pelicans in the first round. 

New Orleans signed Williamson to a five-year, $197 million extension in July 2022. Williamson will make $36.7 million next season. 

“Apologies for the lack of specificity on this one. The Utah Jazz have a mountain of future draft picks, and the New Orleans Pelicans could get aggressive about how many they’d want for Zion Williamson (despite his robust injury history),” Bailey wrote. “But Jazz CEO Danny Ainge said the team is ready to go “big-game hunting” this offseason. Making a run at Zion would certainly qualify.

“With Williamson’s ability to dominate the paint and Lauri Markkanen‘s outside shooting, that duo would be one of the NBA’s more dynamic inside-out frontcourt combos. If Keyonte George can develop into a star (or near-star) playmaker, the Jazz would have the foundation for a contender.”

Williamson has career averages of 24.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He turns 24 in July. 

A North Carolina native, Williamson has played in only 184 games since getting drafted. 

“For the Pelicans, who already have their own fairly stout trove of draft assets, this deal would depend on their confidence in Zion’s health,” Bailey wrote. “Injuries have been a problem throughout his career, and though he played a career-high 70 games this season, he suffered a hamstring injury during the play-in tournament that sidelined him for the playoffs.

“New Orleans could insist on more incoming talent in this deal, but the picks (whether for actually drafting players or including in trades for different stars) would be more important.”

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