NBA Exec Reveals Dark-Horse Trade Destination For Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

There has been a lot of talk around the NBA rumor mill recently about what the future may hold for the New Orleans Pelicans and Zion Williamson. If Williamson’s family had their way, he would already be in another city with another team as they do not seem to fully trust the Pelicans’ front office.

If Williamson wants to cash in as much as possible, he will push to be traded this offseason. As long as he is traded during his rookie contract, he can sign a supermax deal that will pay him the equivalent of what a 10-year veteran would make on a max before hitting that plateau. But, if he signs a rookie extension with the Pelicans and is then traded, he will not be eligible for that supermax.

So, you can be sure that the Williamson rumors aren’t going to be slowing down any time soon. The team that has been mentioned the most as his future employer is the New York Knicks. There is a lot of evidence pointing to them being a strong suitor for him.

For starters, the franchise has deep CAA connections. Leon Rose is the Knicks president and William Wesley works closely with him. Both worked with CAA previously. Tom Thibodeau and numerous players on the team are represented by CAA. Williamson is a CAA client, so it is easy to connect the dots.

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New York also has his two teammates from Duke already in place in RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish. Barrett is an emerging star with the Knicks while Reddish is still trying to find his place in the rotation since being acquired from the Atlanta Hawks in January.

The Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks have a budding rivalry from their playoff series in 2021. Could they also be competing against each other for Williamson at some point should he ask for a trade? One NBA executive certainly thinks so, as the Hawks are a Williamson dark horse in their eyes.

“Look, I still think New Orleans can work things out and keep Zion long-term with McCollum. But, if he wants out, I’d keep a close eye on Atlanta. I’m not saying talks have happened, but I know the Hawks would love to find a way to pair him with (Trae) Young.”

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The Pelicans have been playing great basketball recently behind the newly acquired CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram. Add Williamson to that duo and the Pelicans could have something in the works.

But, if Zion Williamson doesn’t want to stay, the Hawks could certainly build a competitive package to entice the New Orleans Pelicans with. He and Trae Young would be an electric pairing offensively, but the Hawks would need to surround them with multiple defensive-minded players or they would need to score 130 points per game to consistently win.

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