Zion Williamson was always expected to sign a rookie max extension once the protections on the deal were ironed out. Although it’s unclear whether any have been included, the most important detail is clear: Williamson has agreed to a contract that can keep him with the New Orleans Pelicans through the 2027-28 season.
New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson has agreed on a five-year, $193 million designated maximum rookie extension that could earn him as much as $231 million, CAA Sports’ Co-Head of Basketball Austin Brown tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/z4lnVLD1GM— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2022
Williamson was labeled a generational talent long before entering the league. Averages of 25.7 points and 7.0 rebounds on over 60% shooting from the field through the first 85 games of his NBA career have only cemented that belief.
The only remaining question mark, of course, can Williamson overcome his propensity for injury to be that consistent force so many hope to see? The star missed all of the 2021-22 season after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot last summer.
For those keeping score, Williamson has been unavailable for 141 games to date in his professional career. That number is deeply troubling because it dwarfs the amount of time he has been able to spend on the court helping the Pelicans rack up victories.
It is not an uncommon event for injury-riddled players to be asked to meet certain playing time benchmarks in order to receive the full value of a contract. Big men Joel Embiid, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jonathan Isaac were recently required to do so. Will Williamson have to follow the same path?
While we have to wait a little longer to learn that answer, rest assured knowing that any potential trade for Kevin Durant involving Zion Williamson is now off the table. Williamson cannot be moved in any deal for the next six months.
As it’s been said, let’s dance!