Ranking all 29 teams’ potential trade offers for Pelicans’ #1 Pick (Zion Williamson)
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.
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
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
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.