NBA Rumors: Zion, Butler, Melli, Draft, Sexton

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson drives to the basket vs. the Suns. - Getty images

New Orleans Pelicans forward and rising superstar Zion Williamson gave quite an honest assessment of where he thinks his team currently stands.

“My stepfather taught me different,” Williamson said. “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is kind of insane. So I’m not going to sit here and say we’re close. The reality of it is it was very disappointing not to be a part of the play-in tournament and stuff. We just have to come in and be better. That’s just me being real.”

New Orleans GM David Griffin is using two different franchises, who were able to build success through the draft, as inspiration on how to turn the Pelicans into a powerhouse team themselves.

“In order to build sustained success, we’re going to need to do something very similar to what other teams have done in similar situations,” Griffin said. “When Seattle/Oklahoma City was building the way they were, when Golden State was building the way they did, you keep a young core and nucleus together. And you let it learn how to win together. What we’re not going to do is overreact and give up on the nucleus.”

If Griffin can successfully follow the model of those two teams, then Williamson could ultimately see the Pelicans as a long-term destination. However, if they don’t, then Williamson could bolt for the New York Knicks later this decade, as he’s spoken glowingly about that possibility multiple times early on in his playing career.

More NBA Rumors

  • The Miami Heat just got swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks a season after making it to the NBA Finals. Bobby Marks of ESPN notes that Jimmy Butler is eligible for a four-year, $181 million extension this offseason, but given the fact that he struggled to get much going in this year’s playoffs and that extension would take him to his 36th birthday, Pat Riley might have qualms about locking him up for the next few seasons.

  • Olimpia Milan has interest in Dallas Mavericks big man Nicolò Melli, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Melli, who will become a free agent this offseason, spent five years with Olimpia Milan earlier on in his career.

  • Jalen Green, who decided to play for the G League’s experimental Ignite team instead of going to college, believes he should be the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Farbod Esnaadhari of Bleacher Report put together a nice feature on him.

  • ICYMI: Some around the NBA believe that the Cleveland Cavaliers should trade Collin Sexton. More on that here.

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