NBA Trades: 10 win-now deals Portland can make to give Dame a co-star

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers(Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers(Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images) /
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Co-star #1: Zion Williamson

Much like the Blazers, the New Orleans Pelicans got off to a strong start this season only to have it slip away. At one point, they had the best record in the Western Conference, only to lose 10 straight games as their best players were shuffled in and out of the lineup. Superstar Zion Williamson, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, didn’t play after January 2nd.

The fact that he missed 53 games, in addition to all of last season, can’t make the Pelicans feel good about his future. Moreover, if he isn’t ready to play next season, his stock could take a huge hit. While New Orleans may be patient with him, they may also know something that other teams don’t and look to move on for him before he begins to lose value. The Blazers could be a perfect trade partner if they do.

Without Williamson, New Orleans isn’t a contender, and while they may try to trade him for another superstar, the uncertainty surrounding his health might make that difficult. Therefore, Portland could come in strong with an offer of Simons and the third pick in this year’s draft.

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With so much uncertainty surrounding Williamson’s health, aggressively pursuing him this summer might allow Portland to beat other teams to the punch. Trading for him would obviously be a gamble, but if he can stay healthy, he and Lillard would make for a dangerous pairing.