Bill Simmons expects a Zion Williamson trade to come in next couple days
The days leading up to the NBA draft is a time ripe for conflicting reports. Teams are seeing who they can potentially get for their players or draft picks, but also want to deny that they discussed big names, so as not to irritate said big names and make it seem they are "trying" to move a guy. No matter what fans may think, there rarely are any true untouchables.
According to reports the Pelicans may have attempted to trade Zion Williamson last offseason. So after another injury plagued season and as Zion has grown apart from the franchise, of course New Orleans is attempting to move Williamson right now, despite any reports to the contrary.
Bill Simmons saying that a reliable source informed him Zion will no longer be on the Pelicans come Thursday. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/wmK2d1x0ee
Bill Simmons' "relible source" thinks the trade will go down by Thursday. Now there is a difference between getting rid of a player and trading him for value. The Pelicans aren't going to just dump Zion like the Wizards foolishly did Bradley Beal. But if they can add a Scoot Henderson and another piece or two, they may be inclined to rip the Zion band-aid off now.
Eventually you just know he will ask out like Anthony Davis before him. Sure you could wait until he's back on the floor, and when he does play he's one of the top talents in the game, but waiting could also crater his value if he has another year like last season.
If the Blazers keep their #3 overall pick, I believe Damian Lillard's days in Portland are numbered. Reportedly Dame's interested in teaming up with Zion, and their ceiling would be the highest Portland has had in Lillard's tenure with a healthy Williamson. The Blazers have made it to one Western Conference Finals with Lillard, but I don't think anyone else they could get for the #3 pick would help get them further. Zion could.
Charlotte might also like the idea of bringing Williamson back to Carolina where he sold out crowds during his one season at Duke. On paper, LaMelo Ball and Zion would be must see entertainment.
People around the league expect the Pelicans to move Zion Williamson by Thursday, per @BillSimmons
“The Zion thing is a real, real, real, subplot. I had somebody tell me yesterday—that I trust—that he will not be on [the Pelicans] by Thursday.” pic.twitter.com/CXZAgpr2kr
The biggest questions concerning Zion is what shape is he in at the moment and is he healthy? If he's like 50 pounds overweight his value will be stunted. If he looks good right now, some team will take a shot at him for sure. It's so hard to get a potential top 5 NBA player on your team, so someone will bite. Their hope will be that Zion will follow the path of Joel Embiid who missed a ton of games as well his first few seasons before eventually turning into an MVP.
As for the Celtics, unlike other teams that seem to be allowed to keep their two best players when in trade talks, Boston would be asked to part with Jaylen Brown. Brad Stevens and the Celtics have made it clear they plan to retain and supermax Jaylen instead, so that's why you haven't heard any rumors of Brown in deals.
Personally I think once you give Jaylen $60 million a year his trade value will sink, so you better hope Brown is the right #2 to win a title next to Jayson Tatum.