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Report: Zion's deal no longer guaranteed for last 3 seasons

Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Zion Williamson's contract with the New Orleans Pelicans is no longer guaranteed for the final three seasons, according to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov.

Williamson missed more than 22 games last campaign, triggering a clause in his deal that turned the salary he is owed between the 2025-26 and 2027-28 seasons from guaranteed to non-guaranteed, according to Vorkunov. The Pelicans have the ability to waive him with no financial penalty during that timeframe.

The former No. 1 pick was limited to 29 games last season after suffering a hamstring injury in January that kept him out for the remainder of the campaign. He signed a five-year, $197-million extension with New Orleans in July 2022.

If Williamson misses significant time this season, it could cut into his salary for next year, according to Vorkunov. He'll be absent for Thursday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to an illness, the Pelicans announced.

To regain his guarantees, Williamson must reach specific checkpoints during the 2024-25 season. If the Pelicans star passes all six of his weigh-in checkpoints that campaign, 20% of his salary becomes guaranteed for the 2025-26 season. An additional 40% will be assured if he plays in at least 41 games, while the remaining guarantees will be applied if he appears in at least 51 and 61 contests.

He can guarantee his salary for the 2026-27 and 2027-28 campaigns by hitting the same markers in the season before.

Another reported condition of Williamson's contract is the sum of his weight and body fat percentage must be less than 295. If he exceeds that total, he could lose more guaranteed money from his deal.

Williamson has only missed five contests this season, averaging 22 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and a steal in 23 games. Over his four seasons in the NBA, Williamson has played in more than 60 games just once.

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