According to recent rumors, Zion Williamson does not seem at all happy with his situation with New Orleans and could very well be moved this offseason for the right price. One of the teams rumored to be interested in his services is, of course, the New York Knicks.
The reason for that is that the Knicks made an extremely calculated move this season to try and get Williamson away from the Pelicans, and that was by nabbing Atlanta’s Cam Reddish. Nothing is done by chance in this league.
Sure, you might see it as a way to keep budding team superstar RJ Barrett happy, but I think the Knicks brass have bigger fish to fry in the near future.
Just think of the commercialization… having three collegiate superstars from one of basketball’s greatest programs, all playing under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.
Everyone remembers Williamson gushing after playing his first game as a pro at MSG and rumors have been flying ever since. He has quietly expressed his contempt for the Pelicans organization without saying a word himself since being drafted.
Should the New York Knicks make a trade for Zion Williamson?
Whether it was how New Orleans handled Williamson’s injuries during his rookie season by not letting him see the field, until this year when he regained control and basically refused to play due to ” throbbing wounds”. He doesn’t seem to be happy there and it’s becoming more and more obvious.
Time is running out for the Pelicans, as Williamson is set to become a restricted free agent in July 2023. At this point, he has two options.
The first option is that he can test free agency and New Orleans would have the right to match any offer that comes their way, but if he declines that offer from them, he could accept what we calls the offer to qualify for his fifth year with the team. After that, he’s a free man and they might lose him for nothing.
The Pelicans seem to be building their team as if Williamson isn’t already on it. Maybe they should just cut their losses and explore trades this summer instead of risking losing it for nothing in 2024.
The Knicks get
Larry Nance Jr.
Julius Rande, Immanuel Quickley
NYK 1st Rd Picks in 2022, 2024, 2026
DAL 2023 1st Rd Pick
Choose swaps in 2023 and 2025
In this example of what a potential trade would look like, New Orleans acquires Julius Randle and Immanuel Quickley alongside a host of first-round picks and a few trades. In return, the Knicks get Williamson, Larry Nance Jr. and Garrett Temple.
The obvious decision here is that New York must find a way to offload Randle’s contract. Aside from the personal reasons Knicks fans would want to get rid of Randle, he and Williamson couldn’t coexist on the court at the same time.
As of now, the Pelicans are deploying Herb Jones on all four points, so acquiring Randle would be an immediate upgrade.
New Orleans has survived without a true point guard all year, so for next season they could have a starting five that looks something like:
- CJ McCollum
- Brandon Ingram
- Julius Randle
- Jonas Valanciunas
It’s not too shabby if you ask me. Sure, they lack a real head guard, but they make up for it with four guys on the floor at once who can handle the rock and facilitate.
On the New York side, I’m sure they’d like to find alternative accommodations for Nance Jr. and Temple, as they wouldn’t exactly fit the timeline of this new Knicks roster.
Sure, losing Quickley would sting, but the Knicks would have to break the bank and make the deal too good to pass up if they expect the Pelicans to move on from a generational talent like Williamson.
We could argue until the cows come home about the on-court fit between Barrett, Reddish and Williamson, but one thing you can’t deny is that a list of Knicks sporting all three of them in the starting five is as ‘showtime’ as it gets.
Of course, this is just one example of several different trades these two teams could make that would land Williamson in Mecca, but I think something like this would make the most sense for both parties.