New Orleans Pelicans Receive: G Josh Giddey, 2023 First-Round Pick (DEN), 2025 First-Round Pick (HOU/LAC)
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: F Zion Williamson
This deal may suit each side involved better. The Oklahoma City Thunder maintain the option to tank, while the New Orleans Pelicans get a better chance to remain competitive in the short term.
Josh Giddey looked ready to contribute to a winning cause in his rookie season. Assuming he takes a sophomore leap, he could be a key contributor to this Pelicans team. The fact that he fills a position of need at point guard doesn’t hurt.
Meanwhile, the Thunder can afford to be cautious with Williamson’s rehab. In fact, it wouldn’t be a shock if they were, let’s say, overly cautious. They could extend Williamson’s recovery time indefinitely, pick in the lottery in 2023, and attack the 2023-24 season with full force.
Realistically, these deals project as unlikely. For one thing, the Thunder would need reassurance that Williamson was comfortable joining another small-market club. If he demands a trade from the Pelicans, that could be a motivating factor.
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On the other hand, if it isn’t, who knows: the Thunder could shock the world and acquire Zion Williamson this summer.