Zion Williamson and the Pelicans are nearing an agreement, according to reports.

Former No. 1 overall selection Zion Williamson and New Orleans are close to reaching an agreement on a maximum contract extension worth up to $231 million.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the New Orleans Pelicans and big man Zion Williamson are reaching an agreement on a five-year, $231 million deal. Williamson appeared in 24 games as a rookie, 65 games as a sophomore, and zero games last season, when the Pelicans overcame a 1-12 start to finish 36-46, then win two Play-In Tournament games and make the playoffs.

Williamson was an All-Star in 2020-21, averaging 27.0 points per game. 7.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 61.1 percent overall shooting According to Charania, the agreement would include safeguards that Williamson and the Pelicans were working out.

This offseason, the Pelicans had a $200 million — give or take — decision: Give the former No. 1 overall choice a lucrative deal that would begin with the 2023-24 season, or roll the dice and see if he can stay healthy enough to contribute to a club that feels it has a bright future.

“When the time comes, we’ll have that (chat),” Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in late April. “Right now, we’re focused on him being healthy and in good enough shape to play basketball, and we’ll start there.” I believe that once we reach that stage, all of those talks will become much simpler.”

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When asked if he would sign an extension, Williamson replied, “I wouldn’t be able to sign it quick enough.”

It’s a big choice for the Pelicans, who obviously want to add a player with Williamson’s talent to a team that took the top-seeded Phoenix Suns to six games in the playoffs. To be sure, there is a lot of enthusiasm in New Orleans about the finale and the future.

“Words cannot convey how happy I am,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said before the team dispersed for the summer at its end-of-season meetings. “I’m eager to get back to work.”

The question is when Williamson will be able to start working.

The Pelicans’ No. 1 overall selection in the 2019 draught and an All-Star last season stated Friday that he and the franchise “thought longevity was better than trying to rush back.”

Williamson was speaking to reporters for the first time since last September’s media day. During his quiet, some wondered if he was unhappy in New Orleans.
Williamson admitted to being in “a mentally horrible spot” at points throughout the season as a result of his slow-healing injury.
He didn’t immediately contact CJ McCollum, whom the Pelicans acquired in a February deal with Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell.

Williamson said he apologised for not reaching out sooner to McCollum, a 10-year veteran whose presence powered New Orleans’ late-season surge.

“CJ was fine with it,” Williamson added. “He’s a fantastic guy. I’ve learnt so much from him in the little time I’ve been around him. Excellent colleague. I’m looking forward to playing with him. I’m in a terrific place right now.

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“We have a lot of fantastic stuff.” We have a unique bunch. It was always wonderful vibrations with the lads when I was around them.”

Green was expected to construct his squad around Williamson and forward Brandon Ingram, who had a breakout series in his first postseason appearance this season. Williamson, on the other hand, was not available.

Green added, “I love that he wants to be here, that he wants to be in the gym, working toward being healthy, working toward being the greatest player he can be.”

Green believes that three rookies who played big roles this season — first-round selection Trey Murphy III, second-round pick Herbert Jones Jr., and free agent Jose Alvarado — will gain greatly from the experience of playing “relevant games” towards the conclusion of the season.

Green stated, “My message to our team is that there will be expectations.” “We won’t be sneaking up on them, which is nice. That’s how you know you’re a good team, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”


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