4. Knicks get Zion to Big Apple
Zion Williamson was the subject of trade rumors this summer, despite general manager David Griffin denying his availability. The Pelicans have him locked in long-term, but they must keep him healthy to make a run.
Zion averages 28.5 games per season after four years in the NBA, so what is his value? The 6’6 forward has been unstoppable when he is on the court, but the injuries make things difficult. The 23-year-old won’t come cheap, but the Knicks may be able to land him with this package.
New Orleans gets an All-Star in return in Julius Randle, plus two role players and three first-round picks. It is a massive haul, but 23-year-old’s with two All-Stars appearances under their belt never get traded. The Knicks also have the advantage of offering some lesser first-round picks that make the package look better to Pelicans fans but will likely fall in the 20s or turn into second-rounders.
When on the floor, Zion is a significant upgrade over Randle, and the Knicks have plenty of depth to make up for losing Quickley and Grimes. Can New York keep Williamson healthy and on the floor? If so, this could be a home run move that pushes the Knicks into title contention. It is a massive if, but one worth gambling on if the Pelicans make Zion Williamson available.