2 reasons Utah needs to trade Zion Williamson this offseason

With tensions rising in New Orleans, the Pelicans may be interested in trading Zion Williamson this offseason if things continue to go wrong. If Williamson does become available, the Utah Jazz should explore the possibility of acquiring him, especially if they fall short in the playoffs again.

The young striker has been involved in a lot of speculation over his future. Additionally, former Pelicans guard JJ Redick recently called him a “loose teammate” in response to Williamson not contacting CJ McCollum initially after the big trade. Sion has since reached out and done more damage checks, but speculation will continue.

The Jazz are a solid team again, but with rumors surrounding their own stars, Danny Ainge could be looking to shake things up in the near future. Here are two reasons why Utah should consider trading for Zion this summer.

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Jazz Zion Williamson Business Breakdown

Serious championship dispute

The Jazz are a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference. They are 38-22 and currently sit fourth in the West. However, the general feeling is that they will falter in the playoffs. It’s not a real blow to the Jazz and their roster, of course, but an acknowledgment of the sheer strength of other teams. In reality, Utah is great on both sides, but many will favor the Suns, Warriors and even the Grizzlies when discussing who comes from the West. There are also other teams that could beat them in the playoffs, where the Jazz have been vulnerable and not as dominant as they were in the regular season.

Zion Williamson would help change that.

Right now, the Jazz are reliant on the 3-point shooting and cutting ability of their star, Donovan Mitchell, to get their points. Their attack comes mainly from Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson. In reality, when it comes to the playoffs, they’re going to have to get more easy points, and all of those usually come from Gobert and his 70.4% shots on goal this season. Sure, Mitchell will get his, there’s no doubt about it, but it could be a lot tougher when teams specifically come up with defensive plans to shut down the team.

With Zion on the roster, the Jazz could rely on their ability to get easy points down the middle. In his only full season for the Pelicans, playing 61 games, Williamson averaged 27 points and shot 61.1 percent from the field. When a deeper dive is taken into his numbers, we’ll see that most of his points came from within the paint. 69.6% of all his shots were from 0-3 feet and he converted 70.1% of those attempts, according to Basketball Reference. These are easy points that are every team’s preferred choice in the playoffs.

It’s worth saying again that the Jazz already have a proven scorer in Mitchell, who has averaged 36.3 and 32.3 points per game in his past two playoffs, respectively. However, having one more player to rely on could mean the difference between just being a great team and a true championship contender. The Jazz wouldn’t have to rely on Bogdanovic or Clarkson to get hot, or Rudy Gobert to get more shots and waste his energy on offense when defense is where he thrives. With Zion Williamson there, the Jazz would have two massive weapons that can get them very easy playoff buckets.

Look beyond this core

The Jazz have a big core with the aforementioned players joined by Mike Conley. However, there are aging parts in this core. Bogdanovic is 32 and Conley is 34, while Clarkson and Gobert turn 30 in June. Donovan Mitchell is 25 and will need a companion who will be there once he hits his prime. Sure, all the players already mentioned could be there, but they’ll be older once Mitchell becomes his. He’s great right now, but he should be even better in three or four years, once he’s really at his peak.

Zion Williamson turns 22 in July and once Mitchell hits his prime, he’ll be very close to it as well. They could be the dynamic duo Jazz fans pin their hopes on. Of course, they will fully support this squad of players, but as explained above, they might have some limitations when needed. Just imagining an offense where Mitchell and Williamson dominate the pick-and-roll should scare a lot of NBA executives and fans of other teams.

Also, with this duo, the Jazz should have no problem signing free agents there. Playing with two of the best young players in the entire league should be enough of an incentive to come to Salt Lake City. It’s not a huge market, admittedly, but if the Jazz are able to pull it off, free agents will look to join the future best team in the NBA.

The Jazz may not have the capacity, in terms of young players and picks, that some other teams have. However, one thing to consider is that if Zion Williamson becomes truly available, he is not traded by any team unless they are guaranteed that he will stay put. So, it makes sense that offers from teams like the Thunder or the Magic wouldn’t carry the same weight for Williamson as those from the Jazz. They have a great team right now, they have a star to build in the future, they have a solid organization and Zion could very well be happy to continue his career with the Utah Jazz.

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