The NBA Draft is over a week away, and yet draft-related trade talks are already reportedly heating up. The New Orleans Pelicans are interested in trading up for a top-three pick in this year's draft so they can select guard prospect Scoot Henderson, via Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Henderson, 19, averaged 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists across 19 appearances with the G-League Ignite in the 2022-23 season (18 starts). As a result of the Pelicans-Scoot Henderson rumor, Twitter is blowing up with trade suggestions, but not ones Pelicans fans might expect. The trade suggestions are regarding trading Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson for Henderson:
I'm trading Zion for #2 sooner than I'm trading Ingram.
— Morten Stig Jensen (@msjnba) June 12, 2023
Hope Ms. Moriah doesn’t mind relocating to Portland instead of NOLA 😬
— Bryan Toporek (@btoporek) June 12, 2023
I know Moriah wants this. So Dame can teach Zion about loyalty 😤🥴
— i. adan (@Imman_Adan) June 12, 2023
Zion Williamson, 22, has played three years in the NBA, all as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans franchise. He averaged 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks, 3.4 turnovers, and 2.2 personal fouls across 29 appearances this season (all starts).
The former Duke star shot the ball with solid accuracy from the free-throw line in the 2022-23 campaign — Williamson's 71.4% free-throw percentage was the highest of his pro career.
Pelicans fans shouldn't worry about New Orleans trading Williamson for a top-three pick. After all, it's likely that the Pelicans would trade for Henderson to pair him alongside Williamson. A Williamson-Henderson duo in New Orleans would be one of the best young tandems in basketball. Both players are incredibly athletic, and both can score the ball in bunches.
If the Pelicans' front office can actually pull this off and pair Scoot Henderson with Williamson, the Pelicans could be a legitimate NBA Finals contender in the Western Conference for years to come.