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Zion Williamson's $193M Pelicans Contract Reportedly Includes Weight Clause

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 28, 2022

Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans made headlines this offseason when they agreed to a five-year contract extension, but it reportedly comes with a notable clause.

According to Christian Clark of NOLA.com, the extension that is worth $193 million over five years and could increase to as much as $231 million with incentives has a weight clause. The Duke product will have periodic weigh-ins, and his combined weight and body fat percentage must be below 295.

If it isn't, the money can be reduced.

Williamson is listed at 284 pounds by the Pelicans.

Clark noted the 22-year-old "has struggled to stay in shape" for much of his NBA career, with "poor conditioning" playing a role in the decision to sit him out for most of summer league after New Orleans selected him with the No. 1 pick of the 2019 draft.

Health concerns also haven't helped, as he played 24 games as a rookie because of a knee injury and missed the entire 2021-22 season because of a foot injury.

Yet Williamson is working with Jasper Bibbs, who is a personal trainer, and Christian Green, who is a private chef, ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

Green said:

"Definitely getting him in tiptop shape. My boy says he wants the league MVP this year. I see it. I believe it. I believe Zion is going to be the face of the NBA once LeBron James retires. I believe it. I see it. Just getting him in great health. He's in great health now. But once the season starts, he's going to be in even better health."

It might not be much of a stretch to suggest Williamson can win a league MVP. He averaged 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per night while shooting 61.1 percent from the field in 61 games during his second season in the league.

He will also be surrounded by plenty of talent in New Orleans this season, with Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum as the headliners and a solid group of secondary playmakers in Jonas Valanciunas, Herbert Jones, Jose Alvarado and more.

Anything less than a deep playoff run would be considered a disappointment after the Pelicans emerged from the play-in tournament and challenged the top-seeded Phoenix Suns last season without Williamson.

If he is back, healthy and in shape, the team's ceiling is far higher.

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