Can the Los Angeles Lakers actually make a move for New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson? With the way things are on Zion’s situation, that doesn’t seem to be too far-fetched.
After all, there have been talks that Zion is not interested in staying on a small market team, which is why he has long been linked with the New York Knicks. The one-time All-Star also hasn’t played for the Pelicans this 2021-22 due to a foot injury that required surgery. His current situation has only fueled more talks that he could be heading out of NOLA.
Considering all that, the Lakers could very well be another option for Williamson if he does end up asking out. For the Purple and Gold, they also have all the reasons to trade for Zion if the opportunity arises, especially with LeBron James at the twilight of his career and the Russell Westbrook experiment not working out as they hoped for.
Los Angeles Lakers Trade For Zion Williamson
3. Lakers will have a future
The lineup of the Lakers this season are one of the oldest in NBA history. This is definitely a win-now squad with no first-round picks until 2026 and only a few players with high upside like Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves and Malik Monk.
Similar to Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis has been phenomenal when healthy. However, injuries have drastically affected the course of their NBA career.
Certainly it is questionable what the Lakers can offer he Pelicans to get Williamson. Sending back Anthony Davis seems unlikely (but not impossible) and the Pels might not have any interest in Russell Westbrook, but it’s definitely worth trying, especially if the 21-year-old demands a trade.
2. Marketability will rise immensely
Despite Williamson missing a massive amount of games in his career, the popularity, jersey sales and attention that he earns are at a tremendous level. His marketability can develop exponentially when he dons arguably the best and most famous franchise in NBA history. Wearing the purple and gold jersey as a star in the NBA would be an instant edge compared to his peers in the league.
Conversely, the Lakers will have a face of the franchise that can represent them on and off the court. Williamson has the ability and charisma built for LA, and there is no doubt he can thrive under the limelight.
2. Lakers’ ceiling is 1st round exit
At the time of this writing, the Lakers are ninth seed in the Western Conference. And with juts a few games left in the season, they have shown no sign tat they are capable of beating the likes of the Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors in a best-of-seven series.
Westbrook and James are on expiring deals after the 2022-23 campaign, and this L.A. team could easily struggle for the foreseeable future due to the lack of draft capital.
For a franchise that is always in a championship-or-bust mentality, they will need to start building for the future. The injury history of Williamson could be discouraging, but they could perform a calculated and intelligent one, which could propel them in growing a sustainable future despite not having any draft picks.
Buying low on Williamson may incentivize the Lakers of attracting bigger name free agents just due to his mere presence and ability to produce on a superstar level.
Of course trading for Williamson is a big question mark given the other shortcomings of the Lakers. But a Zion-LA partnership just makes too much sense. If they don’t trade for Williamson, it is more than likely for the team to chase for him when he becomes a free agent–though that might be a long wait.