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It’s Zion Williamson’s turn to get paid.
The injury-riddled big man is signing a five-year rookie max contract with the Pelicans, Shams Charania reported Friday morning. The deal will pay Williamson up to $231 million and keeps Williamson under contract through the 2027-28 season.
Williamson, the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, is averaging 25.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game across his three year NBA career.
The 21-year-old has yet to fulfill the lofty expectations bestowed upon him coming out of Duke because of his inability to stay on the court.
Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 season with a fractured foot after suffering a setback during his rehab, while a meniscus tear sidelined him for the first three months of his rookie season. Concerns, too, linger about Williamson’s weight and physique.
Without Williamson, the Pelicans finished with a 36-46 record, though they squeaked into the NBA playoffs and pushed the Phoenix Suns to six games in their opening-round series. New Orleans boasts a tantalizing young core headlined by a healthy Williamson and fellow Duke product, Brandon Ingram.