Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans agree up to 5-year extension for designated recruits that could be worth up to $231 million, reps say

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson agreed on a 5-year, $193 million maximum rookie contract extension that could net him $231 million, CAA Sports Director of Basketball Austin Brown told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski .

If Williamson becomes an All-NBA team, winning MVP or Defensive Player of the Year next season, that would trigger the super max escalator provision that could lift the deal’s total value from $193 million. to $231 million.

Williamson, the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has proven to be a generational talent since he stepped onto the NBA floor.

During the rookie season, he averaged 22.4 points and shot 58.3% in total. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Williamson is the second rookie in NBA history to average 20 points per game while shooting from at least 55% away, along with Shaquille O’Neal (1992-93).

He’s also the first teenager to score 20 points in 10 straight games according to ESPN Stats and Information research, and he accomplished that in the 15th game of his career.

During the 2020-21 season, he averaged 27 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 61.1% away. His 27.0 points per game is the most of any player in NBA history for someone who shoots more than 60% from the field in an NBA season.

Williamson was named an All-Star in his sophomore season and was also a late pick to start the game. He became the fourth youngest All-Star starter when he joined Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Magic Johnson.

In the final 20 games of the season, Williamson’s score increased to 29.6 points per game as he scored at least 30 points in those 11 competitions. Williamson went through 25 consecutive games scoring 20 or more points while shooting from 50% or more, joining Shaquille O’Neal in 2001 as the only players to achieve that in NBA history. .

By the end of the year, Williamson becomes the 12th player in NBA history to score at least 2,000 points in his first 80 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He becomes only the second player to do so in the past 40 seasons and the first since Michael Jordan.

Williamson also saw his average assists per game increase from 2.1 to 3.7 as he took on more ball handling duties as the Pelicans unleashed “Point Zion” under the former coach member Stan Van Gundy. Whether he will continue those duties under Willie Green remains to be seen.

Green led the Pelicans to the Western Conference play-in tournament last season, where they won at home first San Antonio Spurs and en route to the Los Angeles Clippers to reach the knockout stages as the 8th seed. The Pelicans had two games from the top seed. Phoenix Suns before dropping to six.

New Orleans started the season 3-16 but ended it 36-46 back in the playoff hunt. Pelicans trade for CJ McCollum ahead of last season’s NBA trade deadline, which helped boost the team’s late-season run.

Williamson, who turns 22 on July 6, played just 85 games in his first three seasons in the NBA, including 24 in his rookie season in 2019-20 because of a meniscus tear The wedge in his right knee caused his debut to be delayed and missed the whole of 2021. -22 athlete broke his right foot.

In May, the Pelicans officially allowed Williamson to return to action after a leg injury left him sidelined and he returned to the field without any restrictions. With McCollum, Brandon Ingram and a healthy Williamson on display, the Pelicans are looking to make a splash in the Western Conference standings next season.

On April 29 when Williamson made his first public comment since breaking his leg, he was asked whether an extension was possible and whether he would renew with New Orleans. He replied, “Of course, I won’t be able to sign it fast enough.”

Last month at a local YMCA event, Williamson reiterated his desire to go to New Orleans saying, “I really want to be here. It’s no secret. I feel like I’ve stood on it when I speak.” story.”

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