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After Injuries, Pelicans Not So Sure About Zion Williamson’s Extension

This could get interesting

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans
 NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 04: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans steals the ball from Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at the Smoothie King Center on February 04, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Former Duke star Zion Williamson is a brilliant talent but given his injuries, he may not have much leverage to negotiate an extension with the New Orleans Pelicans. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says this:

“From what I have been told, the Pelicans, at this point, are not willing to offer [Williamson] a full five-year guaranteed deal. And a lot of it is flowing down from ownership. Gayle Benson, the owner, is also the owner of the New Orleans Saints. And I have been told they’re going to take a football-style, Saints-style mentality with this contract negotiation.

“They will offer him a huge contract but will not guarantee all of it. If Zion accepts those terms, he still protects himself, and maybe gets $100-plus million guaranteed, he signs, everything’s fine. If he doesn’t sign and wants the full guarantee, we could have some drama into the fall.”

The dilemma with Williamson is that while you can’t ignore the injury history, you really can’t ignore the talent. So if things don’t work out with the Pelicans, a lot of teams are going to make a run at him, including, possibly, the New Yorks Knicks for whom his good friends RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish currently toil.