Zion Williamson on His Future with Pels: “I Do Want To Be Here”

Zion Williamson with the Blue Devils
Zion Williamson with the Blue Devils. Photo by Jacob Kupferman/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (10100485ag)

Despite what seems to be a strained relationship with the New Orleans Pelicans, All-Star forward Zion Williamson doesn’t seem to have any doubts about his future. During a recent appearance at New Orleans’ YMCA camp registration, Williamson made it clear that he wants to be a member of the Pelicans moving forward.

“I do want to be here. That’s no secret. I feel like I’ve stood on that when I spoke,” said Williamson when asked if his appearance indicates his commitment to the city and Pelicans organization. “Currently, this does not really have anything to do with that. This is just me wanting to be a pillar in my community.”

Williamson had to undergo surgery to repair a broken foot ahead of the 2021-22 season and has missed the entire campaign as a result. During his absence, reports surfaced about his dissatisfaction with the organization as well as his disconnect from his teammates. The chatter was further fueled by the player’s decision to rehab away from New Orleans. However, these rumors were later denied by Williamson and the Pelicans.

The state of the relationship between the two sides will likely become clear later in the summer. This is when Williamson will become eligible to ink a five-year, $186 million max rookie extension with the Pelicans. The organization, on its part, indicated that this is the offer they are willing to make.

“This is a max player,” David Griffin, the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, recently said during an appearance on The Ryen Russillo podcast. “I think it is a pretty easy decision.”