The New Orleans Pelicans have endured an entire season without Zion Williamson due to a numb of setbacks. Nevertheless, the team stuck to its All-Star forward, who came close to making his long-awaited return in the post-season.
Now that the season is over, the Pelicans would have to deal with another concern regarding Williamson—his contract extension.
Only time will tell
As it stands, Williamson is currently tied-up with New Orleans via a 4 year, $44.2 contract. This summer, he will be entering the final year of his rookie deal and is now eligible for a contract extension.
This implies that the Pelicans can table him a fresh set of terms that could go up to a five-year deal worth more than $186 million. While the figure mentioned above is something NOLA wouldn’t hesitate to offer to a player like Williamson, the team’s executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin, reckoned that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Griffin also stressed that discussions about Williamson’s future will come but before anything else, the Pelicans would like to see the former No. 1 pick healthy.
“Obviously, that conversation is going to be one that will be a challenge,” Griffin told Nola.com about Williamson’s contract extension. “When it’s time to have that, we’ll have it. And right now what we’re focused on is him being healthy, and (being in) kind of elite condition to play basketball, and we’ll start there.”
Based on how things are shaping up regardless of the Pelicans’ current take on Williamson’s contract situation, it appears that the team is really thinking about the 21-year-old’s welfare and future.
On the business side, it wouldn’t make sense to invest huge money on a player without ensuring that he will have minimal to zero issues with his health.
Zion is happy to stay
As for Williamson, the subject has already been addressed, and it didn’t take long for him to decide.
In an ambush interview last month, Williamson confirmed that he will be more than happy to sign a new contract with New Orleans once an offer is made.
"Of course! Of course! I couldn't sign it fast enough!,” Williamson said about his potential contract extension with the Pelicans.
Williamson has been exceptional early in his NBA career. However, a fractured right foot during the offseason derailed him, and rumors about his excessive weight gain amid rehab certainly did not help his situation.