Rockets Trade Proposal Lands Zion Williamson From Pelicans

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA Trade Rumors
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Every team in the NBA needs a franchise player. If your team doesn’t have a franchise player, you should keep an open mind. They may do anything to land that player. 

Do the Houston Rockets have a franchise player? It’s difficult to say. Alperen Sengun has looked like a star in 2023-24. Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore have both flashed impressive upside as well. 

At the same time, Sengun has defensive limitations. Thompson can’t shoot, and Whitmore has tunnel vision on offense. The Rockets may or may not have their franchise player. Should they acquire Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans to be sure? 

NBA Trade Proposal 

New Orleans Pelicans Receive: G/F Dillon Brooks, G Jalen Green, F/C Jabari Smith Jr., 2024 First-Round Pick (BKN via HOU), 2026 First-Round Pick (BKN via HOU) 

Houston Rockets Receive: F Zion Williamson 

Acquiring a franchise player is essential. By that logic, giving one up is difficult. Teams don’t like trading a player who was supposed to be integral to their success. 

So, why would the Pelicans do this deal? This team selected Williamson with the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. He was supposed to be their savior. 

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

Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out that way. Williamson is frequently injured. At this point, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Pelicans gave up on him. Is this a fair return for Williamson? 

Why The New Orleans Pelicans Do The Deal 

We think so. Pelicans fans may disagree. This is their franchise player. Why are they flipping him for a return like this? 

Well, Williamson’s injury history will limit his trade value. He won’t yield the return of a typical franchise guy. Besides, this is still a haul. Green and Smith Jr. are both recent lottery picks. While flawed, each of them retain enough upside to justify this deal. 

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

Meanwhile, the picks that are coming from the Nets could easily land in the lottery. This team is floundering, so these are valuable assets. Should the Rockets part with them? 

Why The Houston Rockets Do The Deal 

It’s been said that a good compromise leaves both parties dissatisfied. That might mean that this deal works – we suspect that both Pelicans and Rockets fans will be upset by it. 

Fair. Williamson is a major risk. At the same time, Green is falling well short of expectations. He doesn’t look the part of a future star. Smith Jr. is limited as a creator as well. The Rockets at least know that Williamson has a proven track record as an elite offensive creator. 

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

Is he a perfect fit with Sengun or Thompson? No. That’s fine – the Rockets can sort that out later. If Williamson can stay healthy, they’ll still have assets left over to build their roster around Williamson. In other words, he could be their franchise player. 

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