Pelicans lead executive David Griffin is optimistic of their chances to secure Zion Williamson’s long-term presence in the Big Easy.
Having some words on a podcast with Ryen Russilo of The Ringer, Griffin expressed his confidence of striking a max contract extension with Williamson this July.
“It’s not a big decision, it’s a pretty easy decision,” said Griffin about Williamson’s looming status this offseason. “The kid’s historically good when he plays … this is a max player.”
Williamson, 21, is eligible to ink a five-year, $181 million rookie extension this summer with New Orleans.
But these price tag and years of commitment has to be assured of worthy enough, as Griffin further noted that they need to be cautious of the explosive big man’s health moving forward.
“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. But the decision of whether or not this is a max player is an easy one,” Griffin continued explaining.
Williamson was shelved for the whole 2021-2022 season upon nursing a foot injury. Amid his absence, the Pelicans still managed to soar in the NBA Playoffs as an eight-seeded club while offering a great fight against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference first round.
In the Pels’ season exit interview, Williamson declared that he is leaning towards signing a potential max contract with the franchise.