Woj: Zion Williamson Expected to Get Contract Offer in Max Range from Pelicans

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 28, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 28: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans smiles before Round 1 Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2022 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans are expected to offer Zion Williamson a rookie contract extension in the range of five years and $186 million.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news on Friday during NBA Countdown before the Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat playoff game.

"He’s eligible for his rookie contract extension. The expectation around the league is that a healthy Zion Williamson now—beyond that foot injury—coming off a second season where he was an All-Star, put up some historic offensive numbers—that Zion Williamson is going to land in that range of that max contract of 5 years, $186 million."

Williamson, 21, has averaged 25.7 points on 60.4 percent shooting, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists during his two years on NBA courts.

The former Duke standout, who made the All-Star team in his second NBA season, missed all of last year with a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

However, the Pels released some encouraging news on his status this week:

New Orleans Pelicans @PelicansNBA

Update on Zion: <br><br>Recent imaging of Williamson’s right fifth metatarsal showed continued improvement. <br><br>Williamson has been cleared in his return to play progression without any restrictions. <a href="https://t.co/xZAtf9lyVn">pic.twitter.com/xZAtf9lyVn</a>

There's no question Williamson would sign the extension based on comments made in late April.

Will Guillory @WillGuillory

Zion Williamson on potentially signing an extension in New Orleans:<br><br>"Of course. I couldn't sign it fast enough."

Offering Williamson the deal is an easy move to make assuming he's healthy.

The table is set for the Pelicans to be a perennial playoff contender with CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram and a host of young role players who were integral to the team's late-season run (e.g. Herb Jones, Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphy).

That core made the playoffs without Williamson and pushed the top-seeded Phoenix Suns to six games. With Williamson in the mix, the sky could be the limit for this group.

For now, all signs point to a healthy Williamson returning and sticking around for the foreseeable future to lead a team with a tremendous amount of upside.