The New Orleans Pelicans and Zion Williamson recently ended their back-and-forth about his future and agreed to a $193 million contract extension at the conclusion of his rookie deal. However, it seems that there’s a certain clause in the contract that is making NBA fans notice.
Like many pro-athlete contracts, Williamson’s deal includes certain escalators. For example, if he makes an All-NBA Team or is named MVP, or hits some of the other escalators in his deal, he could make as much as $231 million over the five-year span.
However, it’s also possible that Zion’s contract could come in under the $193 million number as well. Per NOLA.com, the Pelicans have included a series of weight and conditioning clauses in the deal. Reportedly, if Zion’s weight rises above 295 pounds or if his body fat percentage gets too high, the guaranteed money in the deal can be reduced.
Staying in shape has been an issue for Williamson since New Orleans drafted him No. 1 overall in 2019, thanks in part to injuries that have kept him off the court and out of the weight room. The team shut him down towards the end of last season and his poor conditioning kept him out of the summer league, though he tried to do a lot to dispel the notion that he’s out of shape.
The contract language certainly caught the attention of the sports world, especially since it was reported a day after language in Kyler Murray’s contract seemed to imply the Arizona Cardinals were keeping strict tabs on his study habits (a clause that was removed after Murray shot back at critics).
We’ll see if there’s a similar change in Zion’s contract but, until then, the NBA world had some interesting reactions to the news
This is becoming a Golden Age for "Embarrass the Athlete" contract clauses https://t.co/cLMn6K5Kxu
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) July 28, 2022
Keep in mind reducing guaranteed money essentially matters 1) in trade and 2) if the team waives him. If he finishes his contract with NOP, any changes in guarantees won't make any tangible impact https://t.co/hGbawiZDWC
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 28, 2022
Four hours a week of independent vegetable study. https://t.co/qM94GHWjZs
— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) July 28, 2022
Pelicans are boutta be so canceled https://t.co/b6TPu88WIt
— Reilly Opelka (@ReillyOpelka) July 28, 2022
How do these contract terms keep getting leaked like this? Lol https://t.co/6shvjhghXe
— Reggie Wilson (@ReggieWilsonTV) July 28, 2022