Pelicans not interested in trading Zion Williamson

Zion Pelicans
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans are exploring the possibility of moving up in the draft. According to reports, the reason for this is to select Scoot Henderson. That speculation has led to the idea that the Pelicans are open to moving Zion Williamson. Per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the organization is not interested in trading their forward.

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

In order to trade up and receive Scoot Henderson, the Pelicans will most likely have to make a deal with either the Charlotte Hornets or the Portland Trail Blazers. Those two teams currently own the No. 2 and No. 3 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft respectively.

“They were the No. 1 team in the West last year when Zion went down with the injury. If he’s healthy, which he rarely is, but when he’s healthy, he is easily one of the best players in the NBA. So I don’t see it happening. That was pretty much shut down to me as a possibility of Zion to Charlotte.”

“Or Portland? Either one,” said Zach Lowe.

“Or Portland,” said Givony. “They haven’t even spoken with Portland. I think New Orleans has made some calls, just to see what it would take to get to one, get to two, but I don’t think it went past that.”

If they haven’t talked with Portland, then that means the Pelicans have no doubt Henderson won’t go No. 1 or No. 2. Most Mock Drafts have the G-League Point Guard falling to Portland at three.

Letting go of Teresa Weatherspoon?

Nonetheless, the Pelicans let go of assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon, who is reported to be a close associate of Zion Williamson. It seems counterintuitive to let go of someone so close to a franchise player if you plan on keeping said player around.

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