Zion Williamson signed a five-year, $193 million designated maximum rookie extension with the New Orleans Pelicans, CAA Sports co-head of basketball Austin Brown reported. This deal could earn Williamson as much as $231 million. The earning potential of the Pelicans’ star will be determined by whether or not he wins the MVP or Defensive Player of the Year awards next season, as well as his inclusion in the All-NBA team.
The overall number one pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson averaged 22.5 points per game and shot 58.3% overall in his rookie season. These impressive stats saw him named only the second rookie in NBA history to average more than 20 points a game while shooting at least 55% in his inaugural season. Widely viewed as a generational talent, Williamson was ruled out of action for the entirety of the 2021-22 season due to a broken right foot.
In May, Williamson was cleared for action by the Pelicans and has since been joining the rest of the team for training without restrictions. Joined by CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, the youngster looks poised to help the Pelicans challenge for the Western Conference this season. The Pelicans ended last season in 11th position, narrowly missing out on a play-in berth.