New Orleans Pelicans phenom Zion Williamson has only been in the league for a few seasons now, and he is still developing and blossoming into a star in this league. With a bright future ahead of him and lots of untapped potential on the horizon, Zion very well could have multiple league MVPs and titles down the road. With that said, something the Pelicans would like to change for his third season in the NBA is having him make the playoffs for the first time in his young career.
If they are to accomplish this, then he will need all the help he can get while fighting his way through an ultra-competitive Western Conference. New Orleans has a lot of assets to make deals thanks to the Anthony Davis trade, so look for them to be aggressive.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at three trades the Pelicans can make this offseason to surround Zion Williamson with the supporting cast he needs to bring them to the next level.
The Portland Trail Blazers could look to finally break up Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. In McCollum, the Pelicans would gain a clutch scorer with incredible handles who has the ability to play both guard spots. This would open up the floor for Zion to slash and finish strong at the rim. McCollum would also provide the Pelicans with 3-point shooting they were sorely missing last season. He would be a perfect fit in Stan Van Gundy’s inside-out style of play that would help them with floor spacing and also provide them with additional scoring to lessen the load for Zion Williamson.
If the Pelicans want to get really crazy, they could also put together a massive offer for Lillard. They have the assets to make things interesting, even if the Blazers likely wouldn’t bite just yet.
After having a sophomore slump this past season, the Miami Heat might be more willing to move on from Tyler Herro, which is a perfect opportunity for the New Orleans Pelicans to get involved. Even though Herro did cool down from his red-hot shooting and stellar playmaking last season, he is still just 21 years old and has a lot more upside to his game. When he’s at his absolute best, he is a multi-skilled combo guard with lights-out shooting and great handles. Having him in the same starting lineup as Zion Williamson would be a recipe for a killer pick-and-roll combination.
Herro could be a perfect long-term solution at either point or shooting guard for New Orleans. With Lonzo Ball set to hit free agency and no guarantee of his return, the Pelicans could be in dire need of more scoring and playmaking at the guard spots. So, trading for Herro is something the Pelicans should definitely at.
Currently a star on a Houston Rockets franchise with no clear direction, Christian Wood could be looking for a change of scenery in the near future. Placing him in the frontcourt alongside Zion Williamson would be intriguing thanks to his ability to play both the power forward and center spots, plus a lethal mix of strong rebounding, interior defense, and a well-rounded offensive game. This could be an opportunity for the Pelicans to establish the next great big-man tandem in the NBA.