The New Orleans Pelicans gained the NBA Draft lottery final evening. Their gross sales employees was exultant, and why shouldn’t they be? Whether or not Zion Williamson or Ja Morant winds up being a greater basketball participant will probably be performed out on the court docket however — for not less than the time being — the previous goes to be gangbusters on the field workplace.
However let’s placed on our reckless hypothesis hats for only a second: What if Zion Williamson doesn’t need to play for the Pelicans?
We’ve seen the situation play out earlier than within the NFL — Eli Manning didn’t need to go to the Chargers, and John Elway refused to play for the Baltimore Colts — however I can’t recollect it occurring within the NBA earlier than.
Whereas Zion has given no outward indication that he would refuse to play for New Orleans, it was reported final evening that the Knicks had been his choice:
What recourse does he even have, although, you ask. Properly, as unlikely as it might appear, he may return to Duke. As former NBA agent and present head of the NBA retired gamers affiliation Scott Rochelle famous:
On Tuesday, USA In the present day summarized Zion’s present scenario so far as hiring an agent is anxious, and it’s correct that he doesn’t but have one.
Sure, Zion could be forgoing thousands and thousands for a yr. The NBA rookie wage scale this previous season paid the primary general choose $5.9 million, and it escalates within the three years after that. From there, he’d have the ability to signal a a lot larger contract extension, and the actual tangible impact of not going to the NBA proper now could be the deferral of that cash versus the rookie wage cash. There’s additionally inherent damage danger to be involved with.
Nonetheless, it’s an interesting situation to consider. The Pelicans employed a well-respected government in David Griffin to run their entrance workplace, however previous to that they’d been mismanaged for years and Anthony Davis reportedly nonetheless desires out.
Would Williamson ever attempt to leverage his manner out of New Orleans earlier than he even will get there? There aren’t any indications but that he would, however the chance may be very attention-grabbing to debate.