Blazers’ Damian Lillard Drops Zion Williamson Trade Hint

Damian Lillard, Zion Williamson, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Damian Lillard liked a tweet about the Portland Trail Blazers potentially trading for New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft.

If the Blazers trade the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to the Pelicans, they would prefer to acquire 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 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.

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

“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.”

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.

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

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. 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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