NY Knicks: How the team can land Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
NY Knicks
JJ Redick, Zion Williamson, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

NY Knicks: Could mismanagement lead to a Zion Williamson exit?

JJ Redick’s surprising trade to the Dallas Mavericks shed some new light on David Griffin’s front office.  It was no secret that the 35-year-old sharpshooter was seeking a trade or buyout to be closer to his Brooklyn-based family, whether it’d have been to the Nets, Knicks, or back to the 76ers – Redick wanted to be in the northeast. However, he was dealt just before the trade deadline to Dallas with Nicolo Melli for James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, and a second-round pick.  On his podcast, The Old Man and the Three, Redick was very critical about his departure from New Orleans:

"I talked to Griff. I talked to Trajan. Griff basically says to me, ‘Come down for a month. If you still want to be traded, I give you my word, I’ll get you to a situation that you like.’ We had four subsequent conversations… Again, my agent talked to them. But I’m talking to Griff directly. Griff and I had a personal relationship. I don’t think you’re going to get honesty from that front office, just objectively speaking… That’s not an opinion — I just don’t think you’re going to get that. I don’t think what happened with me is necessarily an isolated incident either. But I do think across the league, front offices, they act in their best interest. I get that. I understand that."

Obviously, the Pelicans front office will surely be more accommodating to the franchise player in Zion than to Redick, who at this point in his career is a role player. Any future requests from Zion will surely be met with smiles.  If he doesn’t like coach Stan Van Gundy, he’s gone.  If he wants them to sign a player, they’re making the call.   But Redick’s closing remarks have the greatest implications going forward, and potentially on Zion:

"Truthfully — and it’s hard for me to admit this — I think I was a little naive in thinking that because I was in Year 15, and I had at least attempted to do things right throughout my career and I honored my end of the bargain … But in terms of this front office, yeah, it’s not something where I would expect certainly the agents that worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again."

Both Zion and Redick are represented by CAA – if you go to CAA’s website a Zion Williamson picture graces the front page on their list of clients, Julius Randle among them.  If Williamson is content in New Orleans, CAA will keep him there.  But it’s a bad idea for the Pelicans front office to leave a bitter taste in the agency that represents their biggest star’s mouth. Former CAA agent and current Knicks president Leon Rose knows that.