No. 4: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
This Lillard trade would present the most risk as Zion has struggled to stay healthy and in shape since he entered the league as the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft. However, it also carries the most upside.
Williamson has played just 114 games and has still been named an All-Star twice. When he stuck around and played 61 games in the 2020-21 season, he was one of the best players in the entire league, averaging 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 61.1 percent shooting.
When healthy (there it is again), Zion is simply one of the most unstoppable offensive forces in the NBA and has an upside that arguably eclipses even those of Scoot and Sharpe.
Adding the 23-year-old and allowing him to grow alongside Henderson and Sharpe could prove to be Cronin’s career-defining move. Picture Scoot tossing alley-oops to both Shaedon and Zion. It would be electric.
All of this comes down to one simple question that Cronin and the Blazers would need to answer: Is any package they get from the Heat – future draft picks that come with some question marks and young players who haven’t shown future star upside – be more attractive than a young, controllable and established All-Star who would still fit Portland’s current timeline?