Zion Williamson is healthy. But he appears to be unhappy.
The New Orleans Pelicans star’s intriguing comment following their fifth straight loss on Sunday, November 12, raised the possibility that he wants out.
Will that lead to his dream destination: the New York Knicks?
“Like I said last year, we had a team meeting,” Williamson told reporters, “and it was brought up, some things I could do better. Especially with like buying into the program. And right now, it’s tough right now but like I said right now I’m taking a little backseat right now. I’m trusting the process.”
“I’m trying my best to buy in right now.”
Williamson is averaging 21.6 points on 51.5% field goal shooting, both career lows, in eight starts this season.
Brandon Ingram is leading the Pelicans in scoring with 22.6 points on 19 field goal attempts per game. Williamson and CJ McCollum, the team’s second-leading scorer with 21.7 points per game, lag behind Ingram with close to 17 attempts per game.
A reporter pressed Williamson further toward the end of his postgame media availability if it’s difficult for him that he’s not the focal point of the Pelicans offense. His answer was telling.
“You tell me, man! You gotta tell me,” Williamson said with frustration in his tone. “I don’t really know what to tell you all on that. [I’m] Trying to be a team player, really buy into it. It’s tough right now, but I think we’re gonna figure it out.”
Mutual Interest Between Knicks and Zion Williamson
Williamson is unabashed in professing his love for the Knicks’ home arena, the Madison Square Garden.
What’s happening in New Orleans has been foreshadowed by retired New York Post reporter Marc Berman in the offseason.
“New Orleans is still not sold on Zion Williamson,” Berman said in October on the Knicks Recap Podcast. “Obviously, there’s a risk there. All eyes are on him this season. I was told the Knicks checked in over the offseason about Zion. That could be a possibility.”
“Listen, it’s a mystery with Zion. It’s all about his injury, health, and his weight, but he’s spectacular. Putting Zion in New York, Adam Silver would be dancing and doing cartwheels,” Berman continued.
Zach LaVine, Bulls Open to Trade
Another star that could become available soon is Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine.
“NBA teams are probing the availability of two-time All-Star guard Zach LaVine and there’s been increased openness from the organization and player about exploring a trade, league sources said,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Darnell Mayberry reported on Tuesday.
The Knicks checked in with the Bulls last February ahead of the trade deadline but talks did not advance, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.
Believed to be just “one player away” from title contention, the Knicks have been constantly looking to trade for a star.
Should the Knicks settle with the next best available young star?