Zion Williamson may only have 85 career NBA games under his belt, but he’s shown the Pelicans enough to earn a contract worth at least $193 million.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that CAA’s Austin Brown says that the two sides have agreed to a five-year extension. With All-NBA escalators, Williamson can earn up to $231 million on the deal.
The deal keeps Williamson in New Orleans through at least the 2027–28 season. He receives the big payday despite missing the entire ’21–22 season after having surgery on a fractured foot. When he’s played, however, he’s been outstanding, averaging 25.7 points, seven rebounds and 3.2 assists per game and shooting over 60% from the field.
Even with his limited NBA résumé, the move is not a major surprise given what the two sides have said in recent weeks, after some concerns about Williamson’s long-term dedication to the franchise during his recovery.
In April, Williamson said he “couldn’t sign it fast enough” when asked whether he planned to sign this maximum rookie extension.
A few weeks ago, Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin called Williamson “a max player,” saying that offering Williamson the maximum deal is “a pretty easy decision. … The kid’s historically good when he plays two different ways.”
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For more New Orleans Pelicans coverage, go to Pelicans Scoop.