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NBA

Zion getting $231m rookie max extension with Pelicans

The Pelicans are ready to commit $231million to Zion Williamson, but the deal for the injury-plagued superstar will include “protections”.

Update:
The Pelicans are ready to commit $231million to Zion Williamson, but the deal for the injury-plagued superstar will include "protections".
Sarah StierAFP

Zion Williamson is set to agree a five-year, $231million rookie max extension with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The imminent deal was reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Friday, the second day of NBA free agency.

A number of leading stars were given new deals on Thursday – including Nikola Jokic, Devin Booker and Ja Morant – and Williamson should now join them.

Pelicans’ bright future

The Pelicans are building an exciting young team, making the playoffs in 2021-22 and taking the number one seed Phoenix Suns to six games despite Williamson’s injury absence.

New Orleans could be forgiven for having some concerns about committing such a huge sum to Williamson, though.

The former first overall pick has played only 85 games in three seasons in the NBA – albeit he has averaged 25.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

Williamson has spoken of his desire to commit to the Pelicans, but Charania added this deal was expected to include “protections”.

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