Appearing on a podcast with Ryan Rossello from The Ringer, swans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin Express confidence in the signature Zion Williamson to extend that salary cap off the season, although Griffin hinted that the club would seek protection in the contract due to Williamson’s injury history.
“We feel really confident that he wants to be here, and we’re confident that we can come to an agreement,” Griffin said.
Williamson expressed in his post-season press conference his desire to sign for the long-term with the franchise after the team made a late run into the post-season. Griffin says it doesn’t make sense for him to get the maximum offer, which would be five years and no less than $182 million.
“It was really comforting when he made his post-season media availability and said how much he buys this”, Griffin said.
No player eligible to extend the junior range has turned down a maximum salary offer, but given that Williamson missed the entire 2021/22 season with a foot injury and has made just 85 appearances since entering the league in 2019, the club may seek protection within the deal.
“It’s not a big decision. It’s a very easy decision,” Griffin said. “This is Max’s player. That’s easy. The kid is historically good when he plays. … What becomes important with a team is a small market team and a team that can’t make mistakes in terms of injuries over time, you have to compensate yourself in some way.”
A report late last month indicated that the property was reluctant to offer Williamson the most fully guaranteed deal.
This would follow the leadership of Philadelphia when Joel Embiid He was qualified to extend the junior scale. The five-year maximum salary extension included injury protection for the privilege.
Griffin also tackled two other Williamson-related hot topics. He called the idea of a Pelican breaking up with Williamson during rehab after his injury as “complete nonsense” propelled by social media. “There was never a time when we were in the dark over Zion,” He said.
He also said Williamson simply wasn’t healthy enough to sue after suffering a setback early in the season. ‘Baby’s bones have not healed’ Griffin said.
Additionally, he noted that Williamson, who was cleared of any restrictions regarding his injury last month, has remained in town.
“It’s literally in our gym every day now,” Griffin said.