Zion Williamson signed a new max deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, which keep him with the team the next five seasons. Coming off a foot injury that kept him out for the whole year last season, the four-year player will start next season with a chip on his shoulder.
“I want to prove that I’m a winner,” Williamson said after signing his new contract, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “It’s as simple as that. I want to win with coach. As well as with my teammates. The ultimate goal is to win the championship. I feel like that’s what we’re all striving for.”
Williamson made the NBA All-Star game in his second season with the New Orleans Pelicans. He averaged 27 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 2021. He proved his ability to dominate the paint in his full season with the Pelicans after a promising rookie NBA campaign that saw him average 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Almost as if his first two seasons were forgotten, the injury put a dark cloud over Williamson. That, and the fact that there were questions as to whether or not he wanted to be in New Orleans. At the end of the 2022 season where the Pelicans made the playoffs, Williamson stated he wants to remain in New Orleans.
He reiterated the notion, a few weeks later, pushing away any doubts about him wanted to be in New Orleans for the long-term future. Any concerns about his future health were obviously put on the back-burner by the Pelicans as well. For Williamson, the next era of basketball will be about proving he can stay on the court and be as dominant as he was.
“Well, Zion is a huge part of what we do or what we want to accomplish, and it’s not necessarily him fitting in. He can do that with any team in the league. It’s about maximizing the group that we have when we add him to it,” Green said, per ESPN. “Frankly, I think it’s going to be scary for the rest of the NBA.”