After much speculation regarding his future in New Orleans, Zion Williamson let the whole world know where his loyalties lie.
In a story by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Zion's agent Austin Brown confirmed his client's commitment to NOLA on a shiny new 5-year deal worth over $193 million.
New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson has agreed to a five-year, $193 million designated maximum rookie extension that could earn him as much as $231 million, CAA Sports' co-head of Basketball Austin Brown told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
If Williamson makes the All-NBA team, wins MVP or Defensive Player of the Year next season, it would trigger supermax escalator clauses that could up the total value of the deal from $193 million to $231 million.
On April 29, when Williamson made his first public comments since breaking his foot, he was asked about the possible extension and if he would extend with New Orleans. He responded, "Of course, I wouldn't be able to sign it fast enough."
Williamson, 21, missed all of the 2021-22 season after suffering a major injury. As he recovered, fans and analysts pointed out his weight while suggesting his loyalty to NOLA may not be as strong as originally believed.
"Of course I would be worried just in general about Zion, given his injury history," said JJ Redick on Zion. "There's certainly a lot more at play here than whether he ends up leaving the Pelicans in 5 years or 4 years or whatever it is. Zion has to be in better shape. That's not a secret. And he's got to get healthy. And I think if Zion's out on the court with Brandon (Ingram) and the young nucleus they have, there's a lot to be excited about if I was a Pelicans fan."
Today, all of that is put to bed. With this new deal, Williamson will be leading the Pelicans for the next 5 years -- and will be paid like a true superstar for the first time.
It will be up to the New Orleans Pelicans organization to make the most of his tenure and capitalize on his talent.