The New Orleans Pelicans were the biggest winners of the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery when they surprisingly won the first pick despite only having a six percent chance. Pelicans General Manager David Griffin is expected to select Zion Williamson from Duke University to the chagrin of the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and Cleveland Cavaliers. These three teams had the least number of wins in the 2018-19 season, yet only New York cracked the top four in the lottery.

Zion Williamson, pelicans

Every team in the league was drooling at the possibility of landing the 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward, but now their only way of acquiring him is through a trade with New Orleans. That is, if they can offer a package that’s too hard to pass up, which, when thinking about the superstar potential of Williamson, is going to be quite a steep price to pay.

According to Real GM, this year’s first overall pick is set to receive a base salary of $8.12 million, but as Thomas Barrabi of Fox Business noted, rookies will be able to sign from 80 to 120 percent of the base value depending on how negotiations go. This will factor into the trade proposals that Griffin could receive in the next few weeks.

Speaking of those proposals, the Pelicans could unload point guard Jrue Holiday’s humongous contract to another team that’s interested in the first pick ,so it’s not a given that Griffin will hold on to their prized possession no matter what. After all, they are a rebuilding team, and you can’t rebuild when you have a non-All-Star strangling your cap space at over $25 million a year until 2022.

So, what kinds of offers would Griffin receive if the entire league inquired about the availability of that first selection?

Here are the best trade offers that the 29 other teams could potentially submit to the Pelicans for the 2019 No. 1 pick (essentially Zion Williamson):

29. Milwaukee Bucks

Trade Assets: SG Donte Divincenzo, PF Ersan Ilyasova, 2019 first-round pick, future first-round pick

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, bucks

The Bucks don’t need Zion Williamson and the Pelicans don’t need any of the players that they can offer. There’s no way this deal goes through in any universe or alternate reality for that matter.

28. Golden State Warriors

Trade Assets: PF Draymond Green, C Damian Jones, 2019 first-round pick (No. 28 overall); future first-round pick

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: SF Solomon Hill

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, warriors

This is the best the Warriors can do? Adding Draymond Green is already a stretch, and they won’t trade Stephen Curry if that’s what you’re thinking. No matter how good Zion Williamson is believed to become, no one trades a two-time MVP who is arguably the greatest shooter in league history and the one player from which the Warriors universe revolves.

So, yes, this is the best that Golden State can offer, and it’s not enough to steal the No. 1 selection from the Pelicans.

27. Brooklyn Nets

Trade Assets: PG Spencer Dinwiddie, SF Joe Harris, 2019 first-round and second-round picks (No. 27 and 31 overall), future first-round pick

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, nets

As good a point guard as Dinwiddie has turned out to be, he’s still nowhere near the franchise player that Zion Williamson can become. Same with those first-round picks which may or may not turn into All-Stars anyway.

26. Los Angeles Clippers

Trade Assets: PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG Landry Shamet, SG Lou Williams, SF Danilo Gallinari, future first-round pick

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, clippers

Any other team would like to take a package that includes Gilgeous-Alexander, Shamet, Williams and Gallinari, but it’s not the kind of package that the Pelicans are looking for. Clippers GM Michael Winger doesn’t have much to offer, so he might as well not try at all and instead focus his efforts on free agency.

25. Detroit Pistons

Trade Assets: SG Luke Kennard, C Andre Drummond, 2019 first-round pick (No. 15 overall), future first-round pick

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, pistons

If only Drummond was improving by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, his offensive deficiencies are too many and he hasn’t been able to carry the Pistons past the first round of the playoffs, even with Blake Griffin on his team since last season.


24. Charlotte Hornets

Trade Assets: SG Malik Monk, PF Miles Bridges, 2019 first-round pick (No. 12 overall), two future first-rounders

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, hornets

Monk and Bridges are nice pieces to have for almost any team, but these two are far from the blue-chip players that New Orleans wants to make a deal. Those first-round picks? Sorry, Michael Jordan, but even your competitive fire won’t be enough to convince Griffin to take you up on this offer.


23. Utah Jazz

Trade Assets: SG Donovan Mitchell, SF Joe Ingles, 2019 first-round pick (No. 23 pick overall)

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, jazz

Even if the Jazz can offer two Donovan Mitchells in exchange for the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Pelicans won’t surrender a player who is expected to pack the Smoothie King Center every night. Nothing against Mitchell, who is a spectacular talent and a future All-Star, and Ingles who can stretch the floor for any team. It’s just that Zion Williamson is such a big crowd drawer with the talent to be an all-timer that it will take more than what the Jazz currently have on their roster for the Pels to take their call.

Thanks, but no thanks.

22. Miami Heat

Trade Assets: SG Justise Winslow, SF Josh Richardson, 2019 first-round draft pick (No. 13 overall)

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, heat

As good as Winslow and Richardson are projected to become in the next few years, they just don’t compare to Zion Williamson’s potential to be one of the premier players in the league. Even if this draft were deeper and that 13th pick had the possibility of giving the Heat a future All-Star, there’s just nothing enticing about anything that this team can offer.

Sorry, Heat fans.

21. Washington Wizards

Trade Assets: PG/SG Tomas Satoransky, SG Bradley Beal, C Dwight Howard, 2019 first-round pick (No. 9 overall)

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, wizards

Beal is one of the top shooting guards in the game and he’s continuing to improve as a player and a leader. But, he’s not a franchise player. Satoransky and Howard are just fillers for this trade package and won’t be of much value to the Pelicans. That draft pick going to swing this deal in Washington’s favor either.

Sorry, Wizards.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers

Trade Assets: PG Collin Sexton, SF Cedi Osman, C Larry Nance, Jr., 2019 first-round pick (No. 5 overall), future first-round pick

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: SG E’Twaun Moore

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, cavs

The best player from this bunch is Collin Sexton, who is far from being a genuine franchise player. That alone should tell you that this deal is never going to materialize. That No. 5 pick looks good on paper, but in reality, there’s a huge drop off in talent from the first three picks to the rest.

It’s such a ho-hum package that no one would dare show this to Griffin.

19. Portland Trail Blazers

Trade Assets: SG CJ McCollum, C Jusuf Nurkic, 2019 first-round pick (No. 25 overall), future first round pick

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, blazers

Having one of the best shooters in the game along with a young, developing big man (recovering from a horrible injury, though) is a luxury that the Trail Blazers enjoy. But anything less than Damian Lillard in a deal for Zion Williamson won’t cut it for the Pelicans and the Blazers not about to give up their biggest star since Clyde Drexler as well.

This is a stalemate.

18. San Antonio Spurs

Trade Assets: PG Derrick White, SG DeMar DeRozan, SG Lonnie Walker, C Jakob Poeltl, 2019 first-round picks (No. 19 and 29)

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, spurs

Poor DeRozan. A year after being traded from the Raptors, we’re now looking to use him as trade bait for one of the best draft prospects in the past decade. But, that’s what it’s going to take for the Spurs to get the Pelicans to lend them their ears.

White was a revelation after Murray went down with an ACL injury in October. He exploded for 36 points in Game 3 of their first-round playoff matchup with the Denver Nuggets, perhaps showing fans a glimpse of his future nightly endeavors. Walker is still young and developing while Jakob Poeltl is a terrific back-up center who could become a starter in the next few years. Nevertheless, even if you throw in the Spurs’ two first-rounders, none of this package screams “take it or lose it!”

17. Toronto Raptors

Trade Assets: PG Fred VanVleet, SG OG Anunoby, SF/PF Pascal Siakam, future first-round pick

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, raptors

The best player from this group is definitely Siakam who is a strong candidate for Most Improved Player honors this season. He’s gotten so much better this year from last year that it’s scary how good he’ll be before his career is over.

Despite this, his ceiling as a player doesn’t appear to be as high as Zion Williamson, who could be a generational player. The Duke star could redefine the small forward and power forward positions at the same time.

Throwing in Anunoby and VanVleet together with a first rounder isn’t enough either since none of them can create the hype and marketing opportunities that Williamson can generate.

16. Denver Nuggets

Trade Assets: SG Gary Harris, SF Michael Porter Jr., future first-round pick

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, nuggets

One of last year’s lottery picks (the Nuggets selected him with the 14th pick), Porter spent the entire year in civvies as he recovered from an injury he sustained in college. Once healthy, he could be the steal of the 2018 draft.

But, that’s a big if. Even with the inclusion of a couple of future picks plus starter Gary Harris, nothing other than offering superstar center Nikola Jokic will move the bar closer to a deal with the Pelicans.

15. Indiana Pacers

Trade Assets: PG Aaron Holiday, C Myles Turner, C Domantas Sabonis, 2019 first-round pick (No. 18 overall)

Additional Assets from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, pacers

A Holiday for a Holiday makes this a blockbuster deal waiting to happen already.

What the Pacers can offer the Pelicans, essentially, is the core of their team in exchange for a young future superstar. That means that the Pacers will be rebuilding rather than building on their success these last two seasons. Oladipo is just a bit too much from Indiana's side, and that’s where things fall apart.

Griffin wants to build a title contender with a superstar as the foundation and that could well be the first pick of this year’s draft.

14. Houston Rockets

Trade Assets: PG Chris Paul, 2020 first-round pick

Additional asset from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, rockets

Which do the Pelicans think is more important? A 34-year old MVP 7-time All-NBA honoree who has never won a championship ring at the end of his prime, or a player with the potential to be a future MVP but has a lot of work ahead him to get there?

Based on how Paul has struggled to win a championship, Griffin would do well to keep the pick and ride out the aches and pains that come with a player with a huge upside rather than take on a huge deal with an aging star.

13. Orlando Magic

Trade Assets: PG Markelle Fultz, PF Aaron Gordon, 2019 first and second-round picks (No. 16 and 46 picks overall)

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, magic

Gordon is one of the promising young forwards in the league and he’s the Magic’s best player. But the only reason the Pelicans could sign off on this deal is to ship off Holiday’s contract to another team. However, even that benefit, plus Fultz and a couple of low-end picks from this year’s draft, doesn't exactly make Griffin jump out of his seat.

Gordon is a nightly highlight reel waiting to happen but Zion Williamson is already a crowd-drawer before he ever sets foot on an NBA court by virtue of his skills packed in such a unique body. It’s virtually impossible for Gordon to live up to Williamson’s hype.

12. New York Knicks

Trade Assets: PG Dennis Smith, Jr., PG Frank Ntilikina, 2019 first-round pick (No. 3 overall), two future first-round picks

Possibility: Not a chance

Zion Williamson, knicks

The Knicks have very little to offer by way of a trade as they spent their past year freeing up cap space for a major free agent signing this summer. They also tanked their way in the hopes of landing the first pick in the draft. Unfortunately, a point guard with All-Star possibilities and the No. 3 pick just won’t cut it for Zion.

11. Oklahoma City Thunder

Trade Assets: SF Jerami Grant, SF Paul George, 2019 first-round pick (No. 21 pick overall)

Additional assets from Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore

Possibility: Maybe

Zion Williamson, thunder

This is a way for the Pelicans to rid themselves of Holiday’s enormous contract while gaining an MVP-candidate, a valuable role player, and a low first-round pick in return. It’s a tempting proposition especially if Griffin can convince Davis to stay if they can consummate this trade. New Orleans will instantly become a title contender with a core team of Grant, George, and Davis.

But, that’s a big if when it comes to Davis, who will take plenty of convincing to remain on the team. Still, with questions surrounding Williamson’s interest in going to New Orleans, this is potentially one of the better offers they could receive.

10. Philadelphia 76ers

Trade Assets: PG Ben Simmons, SG Zhaire Smith, 2019 first-round pick (No. 24)

Possibility: Maybe

Zion Williamson, 76ers

Griffin could rebuild the Pelicans with Simmons as their cornerstone. Smith could become a key player down the line, but that first-round pick is just a throw-in unless they can find a player who can contribute to the team in a couple of years.

Simmons was a no-show in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and that spelled the difference that led the Toronto Raptors past them. You can’t have one of your best players shrinking from big moments.

But Simmons is young and developing and that jump shot reportedly is going to be worked on this summer. This would have been much easier if Simmons had a perimeter game to speak of. As it is, Zion Williamson appears to have a bigger upside than the All-Star guard. It’s intriguing, though, and something for the Pelicans to think about carefully.

9. Sacramento Kings

Trade Assets: SG Buddy Hield, C Marvin Bagley, 2019 second-round pick (No. 40 pick overall)

Possibility: Maybe

Zion Williamson, kings

The Kings nearly made the playoffs this past season and will be looking to improve on their 39-43 record next year. But, when talking about the possibility of having Williamson on the roster, the Kings will gladly take a few steps back on that projection.

Two of their young talents, Hield and Bagley, will have to be part of the deal if they have any chance of convincing the Pelicans to listen to their offer. They can throw in their second-round pick into the mix, but there is simply no way the Kings can hope for a return call from Griffin unless De’Aaron Fox is included.

But the Kings won’t surrender their team leader along with the two others. That speaks to how good Fox has become, but it’s also the asking price from Griffin if the Kings want their top pick. Still, it’s a nice package, and one that the Kings would think about.

8. Dallas Mavericks

Trade Assets: SF Luka Doncic, SF Justin Jackson, 2019 second-round pick (No. 37 overall), future first-round draft pick

Possibility: Maybe

Zion Williamson, Mavs

A player like Doncic is a future star in this league, if he isn’t already. He can turn the fortunes of a lottery team around and he packs arenas with his style of play. Zion Williamson is projected to be better than the incoming sophomore in the long run, but no one knows for sure.

After seeing last year’s No. 3 pick in the draft perform on the NBA stage this past season, the sky is the limit for what Doncic can accomplish. Would Griffin trade the No. 1 pick for a safer bet?

Don’t bet against the Mavericks pulling this off, but it’s highly improbable that they will even try. Still, stranger things have happened in the league, so don’t be surprised if Dallas and New Orleans pull the trigger.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Trade Assets: C Karl-Anthony Towns, 2019 first-round draft pick (No. 11 overall)

Additional Assets from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday, SG E’Twaun Moore, PF Christian Wood

Possibility: Maybe

Zion Williamson, timberwolves

Towns signed a 5-year, $190 million supermax contract extension last year so he’s due for a big payday in the next few years. Would the Pelicans rather have a young All-Star center on the team who takes up a lot of their cap space, or draft a player who could have a great career on a rookie contract? That’s a tough question, and one that will take some time to consider.

At the end of the day, New Orleans might still hang on to the pick and hedge their bets on a player with huge potential and keep the savings to build a contender from the ground up. But, the temptation of cap relief plus a franchise player in return should keep Griffin awake at night.

6. Chicago Bulls

Trade Assets: SG Zach LaVine, PF Lauri Markkanen, PF/C Wendell Carter, Jr., 2019 first-round pick (No. 7 overall)

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: High

Zion Williamson, bulls

The Bulls have plenty of young players that the Pelicans covet, including another one from the draft this year. But, could LaVine, Markkanen, Carter, and the aforementioned pick be enough to convince Griffin on a trade? Probably not… if we’re talking about a straight-up deal.

If a third team can come in and pick up some of those youngsters in exchange for an All-Star like Ben Simmons, Karl-Anthony Towns, or Kristaps Porzingis, then the Bulls could have a deal on their hands. Three-team trades are tricky but they’re not impossible to pull off, and with Zion Williamson as the prize, the Bulls would do well to exhaust every possibility to acquire perhaps their best player since Jordan roamed the United Center hallways. Meanwhile, New Orleans will have an All-Star and a couple of talented kiddos to develop in the coming years.

5. Boston Celtics

Trade Assets: SG Jaylen Brown, SF Jayson Tatum, 2019 first-round picks (No. 20 and 22 overall)

Possibility: High

Zion Williamson, celtics

Tatum was supposed to elevate his game to the next level but Boston was such a mess the whole season, it’s hard to blame the kid for how his season turned out. Regardless, many still consider the Celtics forward’s future as bright as the sun. He could continue his progression in New Orleans. Same goes for Brown, who needs an entire year away from Kyrie Irving for us to gauge how good he really is.

Remember, too, that New Orleans also has a “pending” transaction with Gang Green wherein Davis and Tatum were the key components. If that doesn’t pan out, they have another option with the first pick of the draft at the center of the deal. The Pelicans love Tatum and would love to explore this opportunity further. Boston is one team that could land the coveted No. 1 pick from New Orleans.

4. Atlanta Hawks

Trade Assets: PG Trae Young, SF Taurean Prince, PF John Collins, 2019 first-round picks (No. 8 and 10 overall)

Possibility: High

Zion Williamson, hawks

If the Pelicans are in rebuilding mode, then they need a lot of young talent. How about a bunch of them from the Hawks to kickstart their efforts?

Young is a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate and should be one of the top playmakers in the game in a year or two. Prince and Collins are young and developing talents who would be terrific for a team focused on growing a team from the ground up. Then, there’s the two 2019 first-round picks that the Hawks own, which could turn out to be intriguing prospects or could also be traded for a 15-point scorer in the starting lineup.

While it’s difficult to say for certain that this is a deal that Griffin will sign off on, it is possibly one of the best collections of young talent that the Pelicans could receive prior to the draft. That is, if the Hawks aren’t content with these players on their team, and it is doubtful that Hawks GM Travis Schlenk will risk his job on a single player. But who knows? It is Zion Williamson after all.

3. Phoenix Suns

Trade Assets: SG Devin Booker, SF T.J. Warren, C Deandre Ayton

Additional Asset from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday

Possibility: High

Zion Williamson, suns

Trading for Booker is a bit tricky after he signed a contract extension with the Suns reportedly worth $158 million for five years, so the Pelicans may have to add another player or two aside from Holiday. Nevertheless, the Pelicans will demand to have Booker in any deal for the No. 1 pick.

Both Warren and Ayton are key young pieces to a rebuilding club that would entice Griffin to think long and hard about this decision. This is the kind of package that the Pelicans would do well to sit on before they reject it. Who knows? They just might bite on this if the opportunity presents itself.

2. Memphis Grizzlies

Trade Assets: SF Kyle Anderson, PF Jaren Jackson, 2019 first-round draft pick (No. 2 overall), future first-round pick

Possibility: High

Zion Williamson, grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies need a total makeover and having Zion Williamson on board would take care of their marketability as he becomes the new face of the franchise. Unfortunately, New Orleans beat them to the No. 1 spot in this year’s draft. The only way they can make up for that is by trading the No. 2 overall pick (could be Ja Morant or RJ Barrett depending on who the Pelicans prefer) and last year’s No. 4 pick, Jaren Jackson Jr..

They could throw in Kyle Anderson and a future first rounder, and this could be enough to sway Griffin into saying yes to a deal. Jackson has star potential and packaging him in a deal with this year’s second pick will at least give the Pelicans something to think about.

1. Los Angeles Lakers

Trade Assets: SF LeBron James, SF Brandon Ingram, SG Josh Hart

Additional Assets from the Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday, SF Solomon Hill, second-round draft pick (No. 39 overall)

Possibility: High

Zion Williamson, lakers

Will the Lakers get to the point where they’ve had it with LeBron? We’re talking here about the possibility of starting the franchise from scratch with a player in Zion Williamson who may actually be the next LeBron James, but built like a bigger Charles Barkley. Maybe this gives owner Jeanie Buss the excuse she needs to trade James to another team.

Consider this a desperation move from the Lakers (if they decide to do it) who would like to free themselves from the bad press they’ve been having the past couple of months (Hi, Magic!). Williamson on the Lakers with Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma could be the next big thing in L.A. and Lakers GM Rob Pelinka might look like a genius if he makes this trade happen. And they get to keep the fourth pick of the draft, too!

More than anything, this deal will also convince Anthony Davis to stay with the Pelicans now that James is his teammate. Plus, if Ingram is healthier than originally thought, this gives the Pelicans a Big Three to be reckoned with. This is a win-win for both teams.

If the Lakers opt not to include him in any talks, which appears to be the trend right now, then the Lakers would likely have to give up any combination of their young players in Ingram, Kuzma, Ball, and Hart. All of them would be way too much. Heck, the Pelicans asking the Lakers for the 4th overall pick wouldn't be all that surprising either.