Pels’ Zion on extension: Can’t sign fast enough

METAIRIE, La. — Zion Williamson didn’t hesitate.

Speaking to the media for the first time since September, the New Orleans Pelicans forward was asked if he’d sign the extension he is eligible for this summer if the team offered one.

“Of course,” Williamson said. “I couldn’t sign it fast enough.”

Williamson is eligible to sign a five-year, $181 million max rookie extension this summer. But after missing all of the 2021-22 season with a right foot fracture, he has played just 85 games in his three-year career.

When he does play, though, he plays like a max-level player. In 2020-21, he became the first player in NBA history to average 27 points on 60% shooting in a season.

Williamson started playing 5-on-5 with teammates and coaches late in the season and into New Orleans’ playoff run. While he was never cleared to play actual games, Williamson said Friday he felt he could’ve, but that he decided along with the coaching staff and front office that staying out would be best for him long-term.

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