Photo: Associated Press

Zion Williamson gladly expressed his intentions to sign a max contract extension with the New Orleans Pelicans this summer.

In the team’s 2021-22 exit interview on Friday, Williamson was asked if he’ll be willing to punch a long-term partnership with the Pels once offered.

The explosive forward responded with a huge grin in his face – a sight to behold amongst the NOLA faithful.

After the reports from the past that Williamson and his family were rumored unhappy in their stay in Big Easy, this insightful answer shall shatter all these swirling speculations. 

Williamson, 21, is eligible for a max contract and could command a salary of $185.7 million in four years that will reach the 2026-2027 season. As such, the New Orleans brass can place some compromises and provisions which can put the offer range up to $222.9 million in a five-year span, should he follow them and claim plenty of All-NBA honors.

The former No. 1 overall pick wasn’t able to suit up for the Pelicans in the whole 2021-2022 season because of his nagging foot injury. Amid his absence, the franchise soared and reached great success that only few have ever imagined after their slow 1-13 record start. 

Upon the inspiring influence of first-year coach Willie Green, acquisition of C.J. McCollum, resonating brilliance of star wingman Brandon Ingram, and the unexpected blooming of rookies Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado, New Orleans snatched a playoff spot and provided a great first-round fight against the regular season best in Phoenix Suns.

As Williamson already assured that he’ll continue his commitment, the ball club is truly poised to conquer the association for years to come.