Zion eager to ink extension: ‘I couldn’t sign it fast enough’

Posted: 30/04/2022 in NBA
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Zion Williamson says he’ll sign a long-term extension with the New Orleans Pelicans if the team offers him one.

“Of course. I couldn’t sign it fast enough,” Williamson said, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez.

Williamson is eligible to sign a five-year rookie extension worth $186 million this summer, according to Spotrac. However, he missed the entire 2021-22 campaign due to a foot fracture he suffered last offseason. The injury-prone big man has only appeared in 85 of a possible 226 regular-season games since he joined the league.

When he’s healthy, Williamson is among the game’s most dominant young talents. The Duke product averaged 27 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists over 61 games in 2020-21 while shooting 61.1% on 17 field-goal attempts per contest.

After winning two play-in games to clinch the West’s No. 8 seed, the Pelicans were eliminated in six games Thursday by the Phoenix Suns. Williamson admits it was challenging to watch his team bow out of the playoffs.

“Being real, it sucks watching from the sideline. I just want to be out there,” Williamson said, according to Pelicans.com’s Jim Eichenhofer. “But seeing the potential, we’ve got a lot of great pieces. I’m excited to get on the court with those guys.”

If Williamson is healthy in time for the start of next season, he could re-enter an imposing starting lineup featuring rising star Brandon Ingram, proven sharpshooter CJ McCollum, and standout defensive rookie Herb Jones. The Pels also have a number of other enticing pieces, including veteran center Jonas Valanciunas, third-year forward Jaxson Hayes, and rookie Jose Alvarado.

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