Amid the current season, the New Orleans Pelicans may already be prepping for the future.
The Pelicans may have a slim chance of making the playoffs this season, but the team is still regularly mentioned in trade rumors. There’s still no concrete update on Zion Williamson’s return, but New Orleans is now discussing possible roster upgrades, ESPN’s award-winning NBA insider Brian Windhorst said.
According to Windhorst, the Pelicans have yet to provide any news about Williamson. However, the team is already “out there talking” to three teams regarding a potential deal.
Windhorst specified that New Orleans is keen on bringing in either Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum, Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox or Houston Rockets’ Eric Gordon.
“We were supposed to get our latest update [on Zion] a week ago, no update has been forthcoming from the Pelicans,” Windhorst revealed. “Yet they are out there trying to trade for a big name guard. They are out there talking to the Trail Blazers about CJ McCollum…talking to the Kings about De’Aaron Fox…talking to the Rockets about Eric Gordon.”
“They look like they’re going to be buyers, but we don’t know what’s happening with Zion,” he continued.
Among these big-name guards, McCollum is the most likely to be traded, according to Bleacher Report.
The Trail Blazers are not in good shape at the moment and are expected to rebuild before the trade deadline. The report noted that “the emergence of Anfernee Simons could lead the Portland Trail Blazers to trade veteran McCollum,” with the Pelicans touted to be the possible “destination.”
The report also said that the Pelicans are heading into the deadline as “a buyer focusing on the 2022-23 campaign.” Williamson is eligible for a contract extension this offseason. Moreover, the team apparently views McCollum as “the potentially ideal veteran scorer and leader to play alongside Brandon Ingram and Williamson. ”
As it stands, Williamson reportedly is still recovering from a foot injury in Oregon.
Fans recently speculated that the former no. 1 pick gave “a signal that he will be back soon” following an unusual social media post.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, are still unsure about the timeframe of Williamson’s possible return. However, New Orleans head coach Willie Green said that they are in constant “communication” with the All-Star forward.
“There’s been communication with [Zion], but right now, there’s no further update,” Green said via USA Today’s Ky Carlin. “He’s just gotta get healthy, and we’ll see where he is here shortly.”
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