Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans agree to five-year maximum entry-level extension that could be worth $231 million, agent says

New Orleans star swan Zion Williamson Austin Brown, co-chair of the CAA Sports basketball team, agreed with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

If Williamson succeeds in putting together an All-NBA team, and wins Player of the Year or Player of the Year next season, that would trigger super-fast upward clauses that could raise the total deal value from $193 million to $231 million.

Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has proven to be a talent for generations since he rose to the NBA floor.

During the junior season, he averaged 22.4 points and shot 58.3% overall. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Williamson is the second rookie in NBA history with an average of 20 points while shooting at least 55% off the field, joining Shaquille O’Neal (1992-93).

He was also the first teenager to score 20 points in 10 consecutive games, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, and he achieved it in his 15th game.

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

Williamson earned the All-Star title during his sophomore season and was also a late pick to start the game. He became the fourth youngest All-Star player, joining Kobe Bryant, LeBron James And Magic Johnson.

During his last 20 games of the season, Williamson’s scoring increased to 29.6 points per game as he scored at least 30 points in 11 of those competitions. Stretching to 25 games in a row and scoring 20 or more points while shooting 50% or better off the field, Williamson joined Shaquille O’Neal in 2001 as the only player to do so in NBA history.

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

Williamson also saw his average passing jump from 2.1 to 3.7 as he took on more handling duties as the Pelicans launched Point Zion under former coach Stan Van Gundy. It remains to be seen whether he will resume those duties under Willie Green.

Green led the Pelicans to the Western Conference playoff championship last season. They won at home against the San Antonio Spurs and on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers to be the No. 8 seed. The Pelicans took two games from the top seed Phoenix Suns before falling in six games.

New Orleans started last season 3-16 but finished 36-46 to return to the playoff. Swans were traded for CJ McCollum before the NBA trade deadline last season, helping the team shine late in the season.

Williamson, who turns 22 on July 6, has played just 85 games in his first three seasons in the NBA, including 24 during the 2019-20 junior season. A meniscus tear in his right knee delayed his first appearance. He missed the entire 2021-22 campaign with a broken right foot.

In May, Pelican Williamson was officially cleared to return from a foot injury that kept him out of action and returned to work on court without any restrictions. with McCollum, Brandon Ingram Williamson is healthy, the Pelicans are looking to make a boost in the Western Conference next season.

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On April 29, when Williamson made his first public comments since he broke his foot, he was asked about a possible extension and whether he would extend with New Orleans. Of course, he replied, “I wouldn’t be able to sign it fast enough.”

Last month at a local YMCA event, Williamson reiterated his desire to be in New Orleans, saying, “I want to be here. It’s no secret. I feel like I stood that up when I spoke.”

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