NBA 2022 off-season: Pelicans vice president David Griffin - 'Zion Williamson easily a max player'
New Orleans Pelicans vice president David Griffin has confirmed Zion Williamson's status as a Pelicans player for the near future after uncertainty earlier during the NBA season.
In a recent podcast, New Orleans Pelicans vice president David Griffin ended any speculation of Zion Williamson leaving his team when he said Zion Williamson is easily a max player. The number one pick from 2019 is eligible for a maximum contract extension this offseason that would kick in from the NBA 2023-24 season. Seemingly, there was doubt about the extension earlier in the season. Due to nagging injuries, Zion had only played 83 games in three seasons. Earlier in the season, Zion was not in touch with the team and the players. However, more recently, Zion was seen on the Pelicans' bench during its Playoffs appearances. While he only played 83 games in three seasons, he still managed to make an all-star team and show elite potential, according to Pelicans vice president David Griffin.
In his appearance on the Ryen Russilo podcast, Griffin said, "It's not a big decision. It's a pretty easy decision. The kid's historically good when he [Williamson] plays. He is a max player. That's easy. What becomes significant as a small-market team that can't make mistakes in terms of injuries over time, you have to repay yourself in some way for that, and that's fine.
"But, the decision of whether or not this is a max player is easy. It's going to be about if you're all the way in with us, this is what it looks like, and we're all the way in with him, and I think we always have been. It was comforting when he [Williamson] did his media availability postseason and said how much he buys into this," added Griffin.
"I saw him be utterly moved by Willie Green, his staff, and this team quite frankly during that playoff run. So, we feel confident he wants to be here and equally confident we can agree," Griffin concluded. In Williamson's exit interview following the Pelicans' Playoffs exit, Williamson said that he would "of course" sign an extension if it was offered to him. "I couldn't sign it fast enough," he had expressed.