Report: Pelicans not likely to trade Zion

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) handles the ball in the first half of an NBA...
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) handles the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)(Brandon Dill | AP)
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 8:25 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2023 at 8:33 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As it currently stands, Zion Williamson will not be traded out of New Orleans, according to ESPN insider Jonathan Givony.

On Friday (June 16) morning, Givony told Zach Lowe on The Lowe Post podcast that team sources have informed him that the Pelicans will not trade Zion or Brandon Ingram, who has also missed significant stretches of games in the last few seasons due to injury.

READ MORE: Report: Pelicans strongly considering moving up draft board; targeting Scoot Henderson

Recently, The Athletic and other sources have reported on the Pelicans’ interest in trading the No. 14 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft for a pick in the top 5, with prospect Scoot Henderson of G-League Ignite being their target of interest. However, Givony said Friday morning that there isn’t a plan to include Zion in a pick swap deal with teams like the Charlotte Hornets or Portland Trailblazers, who hold the No. 2 and No. 3 picks in the draft.

“I’ve been told New Orleans is not trading Zion,” Givony said on The Lowe Post. “And there is no interest in trading Brandon Ingram. I would be very surprised if anything ended up happening there at two or three.”

Givony said that despite Zion’s limited ability to be available on the court so far in his NBA career, he’s one of the best players in the league when he does play and that New Orleans is not likely to move on from the team makeup that made them No. 1 in the West before Zion went down.

“So I just don’t see it happening,” Givony said. “That was pretty much shut down to me as a possibility of Zion to Charlotte.”

Givony expanded on recent trade rumors, noting that New Orleans made calls centered around Zion as it related to possibly landing the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in the draft but that they never went beyond that.

Zion, 22, is currently going on year two of a five-season $194.3 million contract. In his career, he’s been sidelined for 194 of a possible 305 games. When he is available to play, his numbers are elite, averaging 25.8 points, 7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game.

Off the court, the Pels have made recent personnel changes. Former Hornets head coach James Borrego was recently added to Willie Green’s staff to revamp the offense. This is Borrego’s second stint in New Orleans as an assistant. Key departures include head trainer Aaron Nelson and assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon, who handled player development and had a close relationship with Zion.

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