Soon-to-be 22-year-old power forward Zion Williamson has extended his contract with the New Orleans Pelicans for five years and $193 million.
Here’s a nice early birthday present! As he turns 22 this Wednesday, Zion Williamson has agreed with the New Orleans Pelicans to extend his contract for five years and for $193 million (salary which could rise to $231 million depending on bonuses), i.e. the maximum to which he could claim. Drafted in first position in 2019 by the Louisiana franchise, the phenomenon (1.98m, 129kg) had no intention of leaving the Pelicans, even if he has not played since May 4, 2021 due to a foot injury. Another injury for the North Carolina native, who only played 85 games in total in his first three seasons. Only the 2020-21 season, with 61 games on the clock, really showed his exceptional qualities, with an average of 27 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists, but that was not enough for the Pelicans to compete. the play-offs (11th in the West). Zion Williamson has still not played a final phase match, unlike Ja Morant (Memphis) or RJ Barrett (New York), the players chosen after him in the 2019 Draft.
The Pelicans have enough to go to the play-offs in 2023
But without him, New Orleans has just had a fairly decent season, which in any case ended better than it started, and with Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, Jonas Valanciunas and therefore Williamson, we can imagine that the Pelicans will be Top 8 contenders in 2022-23. Provided that the strong winger is definitively recovered from his foot injury, which was initially only to keep him away from the courts for a few weeks, and which finally deprived him of the entire season. Zion Williamson has nevertheless been talked about, since he has been criticized for his weight gain and his lack of involvement with the team. He therefore has every interest in having a good season, because time is running out for the one who was to crush everything in his time in the NBA.