Zion Williamson’s contract extension with the Pelicans includes a weight clause, per report

Zion Williamson’s contract extension with the Pelicans includes a weight clause, per report

Zion Williamson’s new maximum contract extension with the New Orleans Pelicans includes a weight clause, according to Christian Clark. Williamson will have periodic weigh-ins during the deal, and if his weight plus body fat percentage is over 295, he could lose money.

Despite some speculative discussions about Willamson’s future with the Pelicans in recent months, there was no drama when he became eligible to sign a new deal. Williamson and the team quickly agreed to a five-year rookie max extension worth at least $193 million. The new deal starts at the start of the 2023-24 season, and the figure could rise to $231 million if Williamson makes an All-NBA team or wins a major award next season.

“For the Pelicans to give me this birthday present, I’m not going to let them down,” Williamson said after officially signing the extension on his birthday, July 6. “I’m not going to let the city down. I’m not going to let my family down. Most importantly, I’m not going to let myself down.

“The ultimate goal is to win a championship. That’s what we all strive for. We’re hungry.”

Williamson’s career as the No.1 in 2019 has been plagued by injuries and concerns about his fitness. He missed nearly his entire rookie season after undergoing knee surgery, was shut down early in his sophomore season with a broken finger and didn’t play at all last season due to a broken foot that required surgery and didn’t heal as quickly as expected .

When he’s been on the floor, he’s been spectacular. In his second season, playing 61 games, he averaged 27 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 61.1 percent from the field, and was named an All-Star. His combination of size, strength and athleticism is something we’ve rarely seen in the league and makes him a must-see attraction.

All of which is why the Pelicans, despite his injury history, were eager to extend him as soon as possible. At the same time, giving $193 million to a player who has played just 85 times is a risky proposition, and the Pelicans were looking for some protection for their roster and bottom line if Williamson can’t stay healthy or fit.

Adding that clause, which seems pretty easily achievable considering Williamson’s listed playing weight is 284 pounds, seems like a fair compromise. Williamson still gets his huge extension despite the injuries, and the Pelicans have a safety net should things go wrong.

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