Other teams were “monitoring the situation” because there had been plenty of buzz around the league about Zion Williamson wanting out of New Orleans. That never came from Zion himself — he has consistently said he wanted to stay with the Pelicans — but there was a sense some people around the young star wanted to see him in a bigger market.
Zion isn’t going anywhere after signing a $193 million max contract extension with the Pelicans. And Pelicans VP of basketball operations David Griffin said in an interview on SiriusXM Radio NBA it was clear to them Zion wanted to stay with the Pelicans.
"Zion had always been very clear with us about what he wanted."@pelicans EVP of Basketball Operations @dg_riff tells @talkhoops & @DarthAmin if he ever had any doubt Zion Williamson would sign his extension. #SummerPelicans pic.twitter.com/j1CJjx5HoJ
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 16, 2022
“In terms of whether he wanted to stay, Zion had always been very clear with us about what he wanted, about what his goal set was. He never wavered off of that.”
Griffin also has built a roster Zion wants to be part of. With Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum as the primary offensive focus (along with Zion), plus Devonte' Graham, Larry Nance Jr., Herb Jones and others, this is a quality Pelicans team — one that should be thinking playoffs. McCollum’s veteran leadership has proven to be the glue this team needed.
Now they just need to keep everyone healthy and on the court — starting with Zion, who has played just 85 games through three seasons. The Pelicans are going to be must-watch this season.