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#pounditThursday, March 23, 2023

Reporter thinks Pelicans will trade Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson smiling

One reporter believes that Zion Williamson could meet the same fate as fellow ex-No. 1 overall picks like Markelle Fultz and Andrew Wiggins.

Boardroom’s Jordan Schultz appeared this week on “The Dan Patrick Show” and said that he thinks the New Orleans Pelicans will trade Williamson.

“I don’t know if Zion Williamson ever plays for the Pelicans again,” Schultz said. “He’s played 85 games [so far] in his career. If you don’t trade him this summer, what are you gonna get for him long-term? If you don’t believe he’s going to stay healthy, what are we talking about here?

“I think there’s a very good chance he will not be back, and they will trade him this summer or at least strongly explore trades,” Schultz added about the 21-year-old Williamson. “The bottom line is you cannot extend him if you’re New Orleans given that he’s basically played one season [out of] almost three. You just can’t do it at this point.”

For what it’s worth, Schultz is close with Pelicans guard CJ McCollum. He previously co-hosted a podcast with McCollum, who was acquired by New Orleans in a trade last month.

As for Williamson, who has not played all year because of a foot injury, there has actually been some encouraging news with him in recent weeks. But that not does change the fact that Williamson was a big headache for the Pelicans for virtually the entire season to that point. There have been questions over Williamson’s weight, his work ethic, and even his traits as a teammate. That is not even to say anything of the big durability concerns for Williamson, a player who has missed the equivalent of two full seasons with lower-body injuries and relies heavily on his athleticism to be elite.

Without Williamson this season, the Pelicans are still in the playoff hunt thanks to a well-rounded roster that includes McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, and rookie Herbert Jones. By moving Williamson this summer, New Orleans would risk trading him at the basement of his value. But it may be something that they should at least consider if there is a more compatible core piece out there for them to acquire.

Photo: Sep 27, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Zion Williamson during a press conference at the New Orleans Pelicans Media Day. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports


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