Report: Zion Williamson’s Pelicans Contract No Longer Guaranteed

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The New Orleans Pelicans signed Zion Williamson to a five-year, $197 million extension in July 2022. According to NBA reporter Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, the final three years of the deal are no longer guaranteed since Williamson only played in 29 games last season.

Williamson was the first overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Duke. He has played in only 137 games with the Pelicans. Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 season due to a serious foot injury.

“According to the contract, which was reviewed by The Athletic, the final three years of the deal are no longer guaranteed after Williamson was able to only play in 29 games last season,” Vorkunov wrote. “By missing more than 22 games last season, Williamson triggered a clause that turned the salary he is owed for the 2025-26, 2026-27 and 2027-28 seasons from guaranteed to non-guaranteed.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

“That means the Pelicans have the contractual power to waive Williamson after the 2024-25 season with no financial ramifications — though rival team executives believe that would only happen in extreme circumstances. And if Williamson misses significant time this season, it could cut into his guaranteed salary for 2024-25.”

Williamson has career averages of 25.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists. His commitment to basketball has been questioned by many pundits since his body always appears to be out of shape.

The Pelicans are not expected to waive Williamson unless the situation grows significantly worse. If Williamson suffers another significant injury, the Pelicans have protected themselves with the clauses they put in Zion’s contract.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Williamson is averaging 22.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists this season while shooting 57.8% from the field and 65.2% from the free-throw line. He has three double-doubles in 23 games.

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