New Orleans Pelicans Receive: F Obi Toppin, G Alec Burks, 2023 First-Round Pick (NYK), 2023 First-Round Pick (DAL), 2025 First-Round Pick (NYK), 2027 First-Round Pick (NYK), 2029 First-Round Pick (NYK)
New York Knicks Receive: F Zion Williamson
You may have expected to see RJ Barrett’s name in this package. We’d argue that there are good reasons for both sides to opt against including him in the deal.
For the New Orleans Pelicans, he’s not a good fit with the existing roster. They’re already well-equipped with wings. Brandon Ingram becomes their franchise player following this deal. Rookie Herb Jones garnered All-Defensive consideration in his first year in the league. Trey Murphy III is solid. They’ll likely look to continue competing following a strong finish to 2021-22. Roster construction will count for them.
For the New York Knicks, there is an obvious appeal in reuniting the college teammates. Fellow 2018 Duke player Cam Reddish is on the squad as well. Getting the band back together will provide their new-look team with instant chemistry.
So, the Pelicans receive a pile of draft capital instead. Landing two selections in the 2023 draft is vital. French big man prospect Victor Wembenyama looms large, and the class is particularly strong through the top ten.
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The Pelicans would find themselves in a nice situation post-Williamson. They’d have more draft capital than any team outside of Oklahoma City, and a competitive club to boot.
Meanwhile, the Knicks will hope that this deal works out in their favor.