With Zion Williamson potentially unhappy with the New Orleans Pelicans, could they trade him to the New York Knicks?
The easy answer is no, at least no in the near future. Even should Williamson try to force the Pelicans hand, the more likely option is that New Orleans surround him with more viable talent, rather than deal him to a bigger market.
The team cut ties with Stan Van Gundy yesterday, perhaps a hint they want a better coach to pair with Zion.
Whether intentional or not, Zion’s friends and family have leaked that they are not happy with the talent around Williamson. The Pelicans did not make the postseason this year, as they finished in the No. 11 seed, missing out on the play-in tournament altogether.
The Knicks have plenty of cap space this offseason, but they’re more likely to make a run at one of the big-time free agents, such as Chris Paul. Williamson would cost a fortune even if he were to be made available.
NBA rumors: Could the Knicks trade for Zion Williamson?
Technically yes, but it takes two to tango. The Pelicans aren’t in the market for draft capital at the moment, instead hoping to build a better roster around the former No. 1 overall pick in what will be his third season come 2021-22.
Zion improved a ton this season, and the Pels core of he and Brandon Ingram is a promising one. They’re missing talent in the backcourt, especially after they traded away Jrue Holiday to the Bucks.
Zion Williamson Free Agency: When does Zion Williamson rookie contract expire?
Williamson is under contract through 2023, when he becomes a restricted free agent. Assuming he doesn’t sign a max contract before then, the Pelicans will be able to match any offer given to him in restricted free agency.
So, New Orleans has an overwhelming advantage in those sweepstakes assuming he wants to stay in the Bayou by then.