Seemingly unending speculation over Zion Williamson’s New Orleans Pelicans future has now led to growing talk of a potential trade to the Detroit Pistons.
The 23-year-old continues to mature into one of the top young stars in the NBA, and talk of a Pelicans exit is perhaps unsurprising given that the Smoothie King Center team has only made the postseason once in the past five seasons and Williamson is no doubt a player who has title-winning ambitions that are frankly unlikely to be met at New Orleans.
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On a potential move to the Pistons, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley commented;
“Should Williamson finally stay healthy, after totaling just 114 appearances in his first four seasons, he could help launch Detroit up the Eastern Conference standings. Between Williamson and Cade Cunningham, who has hinted at a breakout in his time with the Select Team, the Pistons could have the league’s next dynamic duo.”
“New Orleans, meanwhile, would have to simply want out of the Williamson business since his trade value isn’t exactly peaking. Then again, if the Pels aren’t convinced his availability issues are going away, they might want to take what they can get now and avoid the risk of him becoming expensive, damaged goods down the line.” Buckley added.
Williamson was the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and signed with the New Orleans Pelicans on July 1st, 2019, but didn’t make his debut until January 2022 due to suffering a torn meniscus in the preseason.
In his first full season, he averaged a very healthy 27 points per game, and in 2022/23, he was scoring at 26 points a game, but in both seasons, the Pelicans failed to secure a playoff berth, though last term they did at least secure a 42-40 record.
Williamson is seemingly excited about the coming season, especially in terms of the team’s ‘big three’ which is made up of himself, Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum, with Zion stating;
“You got CJ McCollum. Then you got Brandon Ingram. Then you got myself. The first day of training camp was the first time all three of us stepped on the court together. As the scrimmage went on, it was just like ‘boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, man.’”
Pelicans head coach Willie Green will undoubtedly be keen to see the trio line up, but it is worth noting that it’s quite some time since Zion Williamson was on the court. He was sidelined with an apparent hamstring injury in early January and hasn’t played since.
The Pelicans start the new season on October 25th when they travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies, followed by hosting both the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors at the Smoothie King Center.
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