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Pelicans´ Zion Williamson set to finalize 5 year rookie max extension for $231 million

Despite the speculation, the star forward always maintained his desire to stay put and now it seems he´s going to do just that.

Update:
Pelicans´ Zion Williamson set to finalize 5 year rookie max extension for $231 million
Jonathan BachmanAFP

Pelicans fans can now rest easy knowing that their star and one of the biggest in the NBA itself has now committed himself to the team.

Zion Williamson set to extend with New Orleans Pelicans

There will definitely be celebration in New Orleans today now that reports have indcated that Zion Williamson will be staying with the Pelicans for the foreseeable future. As per reports Williamson is about put pen to paper on a five-year rookie max contract extension worth up to $231 million. With that in mind it would mean that the former Duke prodigy will be with the Pelicans right through to the 2027-28 NBA regular season.

Zion Williamson´s unfortunate 2021-22 campaign

As many will recall Williamson didn’t actually play a single second for the Pelicans during this most recent campaign due to broken foot and then an extremely problematic recovery process. Some might ask,’why then such a large extension?’ The answer, however, is quite simple. When he´s been healthy, Williamson has been a force of nature averaging 27 points and 7.2 rebounds per game during the 2020-21 season. Add to that the fact that the franchise has always been clear about its desire for him to be the cornerstone player - one need only look at what they´ve invested him - and it becomes a formality really.

What has Zion Williamson had to say about his future?

For his part Williamson has maintained throughout that he wanted to remain in New Orleans. Back in April for example, Williamson made it clear he planned to sign an extension with the Pelicans if offered. “Of course. Of course. I wouldn’t be able to sign it fast enough,” Williamson said at the time, before going on to address the speculation about his future itself: “I can’t control rumors and how people feel about certain things, but anybody that knows me knows I want to be here.”

If there was any remaining doubt, the Pelicans star once again reiterated his position just this month past. “I do want to be here. That’s no secret,” Williamson said in June. “I feel like I’ve stood on that when I spoke. It was a long year for me for rehab and mental battles. I’m fine now. I’m ready to get to work.”

The Pelicans could be a team to watch

If there is one thing that´s clear after this most recent season, it´s that when Williamson rejoins his team they will have to be taken seriously. The Pelicans were perhaps the surprise package of the last season. After starting with a record of 1-12, quite literally turned things around on the way to clinching the 8th seed in the Western Conference. They were then drawn against the No. 1 seeded Phoenix Suns who they pushed to six games in the first round. Alongside their established stars like Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, they also saw the likes of new boys Herb Jones, Trey Murphy III and Jose Alvarado stepping up to the plate. It is with that cast of characters that Williamson will take to the stage this coming campaign. NBA be warned.

“It sucked watching from the sideline, but I got to see our potential,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of great pieces, and I’m excited to get on the court with those guys. ... You saw it on the court. We have a special group. I truly believe that. ... I’m one of those people that believes the more your team wins, the more individual awards will come. So, with a special group, a coach like Willie [Green], I think a lot of great things will happen.” With his contract now seemingly finalized, one has to believe that this next season could well see Williamson and the Pelicans make a deep run into the post season. Now it´s simply a matter of waiting to enjoy the show.

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