By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
New Orleans Pelicans‘ Zion Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 campaign after suffering a foot fracture, though the franchise has not given up on him and his potential.
Pelicans Vice President of basketball operations David Griffin praised Williamson’s work on the court and said that extending him is a rather “easy decision”.
“It’s not a big decision, it’s a pretty easy decision,” Griffin recently said on The Ryen Russillo Podcast. “The kid’s historically good when he plays. This is a max player, that’s easy.”
Williamson, 21, is eligible to sign a five-year, $181M max rookie extension with the Pelicans this summer.
“What becomes significant as a team that’s a small-market team and as a team that can’t make mistakes in terms of injuries over time, you have to indemnify yourself in some way for that and that’s fine,” Griffin added. “But the decision of whether or not this is a max player is an easy one. It’s really going to be about if you’re all the way in with us this is what it looks like and we’re all the way in with him and I think we always have been.”
Williamson had been on his way to recovery for a long time and there was an estimation that he would be able to return to action last December, though his injury regressed, causing him to remain off the court. Back in March, Williamson has been cleared for basketball activities and has started practicing individually.
Even though at the moment there’s still no timeline for Williamson’s return to action, he seems more than willing to remain with the Pelicans with the max contract extension. “I couldn’t sign it fast enough,” he told reporters during a media availability in April 2022.