David Griffin Breaks Silence On Pelicans’ Relationship With Zion Williamson

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

New Orleans Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin told Sirus XM Radio during NBA Summer League in Las Vegas that the franchise’s relationship with Zion Williamson is “as good as it’s ever been.”

Williamson has been in trade rumors all summer, but according to Griffin, the Pelicans never had a single conversation about trading the former No. 1 overall pick.

“I would say it’s as good as it’s ever been actually,” Griffin said. “He’s coming out here to join the team to be with Herb [Jones] and Trey [Murphy] and some of these veterans that are here. … I would say it’s as good as it’s been. I think what’s unfortunate is he is a name that generates clicks no matter what the link says. ‘Zion puts on his socks.’ People click on that. And so it makes it really easy for people to manufacture rumors around him because they don’t have to have any kind of actual credibility behind what they say to generate clicks.

“And we’ve, as a society, this isn’t true of sports, this is true across all platforms, reality doesn’t matter anymore. Generating clicks matters. And so unfortunately for Zion, he’s just, he’s an oddity and somebody that people pay a great deal of attention to and manufacture a lot of stories around. We never had a single conversation that Zion was part of. I think people perceive that we would be willing to move off of Zion because of all the injuries because there’s always so much noise around Zion. And fortunately for us, the noise never actually matches what we’re really experiencing.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zion Williamson & 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 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 last season.

When he’s been on the court, Williamson has been a superstar. The North Carolina native has career averages of 25.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. However, there have been questions about Williamson’s diet and commitment to basketball.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zion Williamson & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Williamson signed a five-year, $194.3 million designated rookie contract extension with the Pelicans in July 2022.

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