NBA - Zion Williamson: an extension like Joel Embiid's?

NBA -  Zion Williamson: an extension like Joel Embiid's?

For the first time since the media day that precedes the beginning of training camp, Zion Williamson answered to the press in New Orleans. Briefly, only a few minutes, but the Pelicans forward said several times that "the group is special," singing the praises of Willie Green, CJ McCollum or the club's rookies.

Would you have been able to get back on the court? From a physical standpoint, I really could have played. But myself, my relatives, the team and the executives, we decided that the long term was more important than coming back quickly. 

Future still in Louisiana? I can't control the rumors and what people think, but everyone who knows me knows I want to stay here. If you think otherwise, I can't help it. But everyone who knows me knows I see myself here.

Zion Williamson is eligible for a $181 million contract extension over five years, with the possibility of that amount rising to $218 million over five years if he is elected to an All-NBA team at the end of the 2022/23 season.

Against him, however, is a reality of physical frailty from just 85 games in three seasons, and at the age of 21, that's not much of a stretch: it seems impossible to imagine the Pelicans offering him that much, without hedging a bit against the risk of receiving nothing in this long run.

The extension offered to Zion Williamson, however, has an illustrious precedent: that of Joel Embiid in 2017. At the time, the Sixers pivot had played only 31 games in three seasons since his draft, but was extended $148 million over five years by Philadelphia, with a whole series of clauses related to his playing time, the number of games he would miss or the new injuries he would contract, in order to protect the club in case of new difficulties.