NBA

Pelicans VP David Griffin calls Zion Williamson's max extension 'a pretty easy decision'

By Sports Desk June 09, 2022

Despite missing all of last season due to injury, Zion Williamson remains very much in the long-term plans of the New Orleans Pelicans, according to executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin. 

Appearing on a podcast, Griffin expressed confidence in signing Williamson to a maximum-salary extension this offseason and said it’s an "easy decision". 

Williamson said in his postseason press conference that he’s eager to sign long-term with the Pelicans after the team made a late run to the playoffs. Griffin said it’s essentially a no-brainer that he will get a max offer of five years and at least $182 million. 

"We feel really confident he wants to be here, and we’re equally confident we can come to an agreement," Griffin said. 

Because Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 season due to a foot injury and has played in just 85 games since entering the league in 2019, the Pelicans could seek protections within the deal. 

"It’s not a big decision. It’s a pretty easy decision," Griffin said. "This is a max player. That’s easy. The kid is historically good when he plays.

"What becomes significant with a team that’s a small-market team that can’t make mistakes in terms of injuries over time, you have to indemnify yourself in some way." 

Williamson was recently cleared to play this offseason without any restrictions after recent imaging on the fifth metatarsal in his right foot showed continued improvement. 

Barring any setbacks, he should be ready to return next season and take the court for the first time since May 2021.  

Williamson has been an extremely effective player when healthy, averaging 25.7 points, 7 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting just over 60 percent from the field for his career.  

Offseason work pic.twitter.com/scnFaHUil3

— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) June 7, 2022

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