When the New Orleans Pelicans were faced with the decision to trade their superstar Anthony Davis, the bad vibes were quickly smoothed over by landing Zion Williamson with the first selection in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Now after their new face of the franchise has played just 85 games since being drafted, team ownership isn’t as committed to the new superstar in town. Or at least not convinced in his long-term health.

 

NBA insider suggests Pelicans ownership won’t offer Zion the max

According to Brian Windhorst in his appearance on ESPN’s Get Up on Friday morning, despite Zion Williamson recently being cleared to resume basketball activities without any restrictions, the team still isn’t sold on offering their 21-year-old star a max contract.

Instead the Gayle Benson ownership group prefers to take a “football approach” to contract negotiations with Williamson.

Oftentimes basketball stars receive fully-guaranteed contracts that are paid out no matter what, whereas in football there are a few more loopholes, such as a player getting hurt, allowing a team to dump their contract by the wayside.

This appears to be the biggest fear that will prevent the Pelicans from offering Williamson the fully guaranteed five-year, $186 million max contract extension he’s eligible for according to Windhorst’s sources.

That doesn’t mean the Pelicans won’t still offer an enticing contract for Williamson, it just won’t be the maximum amount he’s eligible to earn.