Blazers’ Trade Preference Among Pelicans Stars For 3rd Pick, Revealed

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

If the Portland Trail Blazers trade the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to the New Orleans Pelicans, they would prefer to acquire Zion Williamson over Brandon Ingram, according to NBA insider Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

The Blazers are trying to trade the third pick to acquire more win-now players for Damian Lillard, while the Pelicans want to move up in the draft so they can select Scoot Henderson.

“As for Portland, my sense from league sources is that Portland’s preference is Williamson, who’d be a weapon in the pick-and-roll and in handoffs alongside Damian Lillard (should he stick around) and Shaedon Sharpe,” O’Connor wrote. “If the Pelicans are looking to move up, they also have the 14th pick in this draft, and a treasure chest of future firsts that includes all of their own picks, a Lakers first in 2024 or 2025, and a bevy of Bucks picks.

“New Orleans could also dangle young talent like Trey Murphy, Dyson Daniels, or Herb Jones. Regardless, New Orleans should be focused on getting a haul for Zion this summer. Look at how Washington fumbled its superstar trade. This could be the Pelicans’ last chance.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

The Pelicans are open to trading Williamson if they can move up in the draft and select Henderson, according to NBA insider Marc Stein. New Orleans is less inclined to consider trading Ingram in the same scenario.

Williamson has only appeared in 114 out of possible 308 regular-season games since being drafted by the Pelicans with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Duke.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

The lefty played in 24 games in his rookie year and 61 games in his sophomore year. Williamson then missed his entire third year and appeared in just 29 games this past season.

The 2023 NBA Draft is on Thursday, June 22.

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