Pelicans Star Zion Williamson's Contract Includes Weight Clause

In a week full of contract clause-related headlines, another emerges outside of the NFL: this time in New Orleans where NBA forward and former first-overall pick for the Pelicans Zion Williamson is facing a stipulation in his recent contract extension requiring he stay under 295 lb. — or lose guaranteed money.

The 22-year-old out of Duke has been phenomenal in his sparse appearances for the Pelicans the last three years: playing 24 games his rookie campaign and 61 games his sophomore year but missing all of 2021-22 due to a foot injury (broken fifth metatarsal) that later required surgery.

While injuries have often derailed the young star's early NBA career, his physical conditioning (as a very sturdy 6-foot-6 forward) has also been a concern. In October 2021, Zion reportedly jumped up to 300 lb. while sidelined due to his rehabbing foot.

This offseason, Williamson signed a five-year, $193 million extension that could balloon up to $231 million with incentives. However, Pelicans reporter Christian Clark noted that Williamson's combined weight and body fat would determine any reductions with guaranteed money.

Williamson was named an All-Star in 2021 — averaging 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists that season, also shooting 61.1 percent from the field.

The young New Orleans squad made it past the play-in tournament last season, defeating the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers to advance to the postseason: set to face the Phoenix Suns, who eliminated the Pelicans (36–46) in six games.

With the team budding and Zion still sidelined, the Pelicans front office is likely eager to see both products mesh sooner than later and not leave Zion's weight, which has been seen as a potential factor in his rehab from foot surgery, up to chance.

Fans in New Orleans can't wait to watch this guy cook!