Zion doubles down on desire to stay with Pelicans: 'I do want to be here'

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Zion Williamson doubled down on his desire to stay with the New Orleans Pelicans during a public appearance Saturday at his youth basketball camp.

"I do want to be here. That's no secret," Williamson told reporters, according to ESPN's Andrew Lopez. "I feel like I've stood on that when I spoke."

Williamson said in April that he'd sign a long-term extension with the Pelicans if the team offered him one. The former No. 1 overall pick is eligible for a five-year, $186-million max rookie extension this summer.

Williamson sat out the entire 2021-22 campaign nursing a right foot injury. The team cleared him to resume full basketball activities last month.

New Orleans managed to secure a playoff berth this season without the rising star. The franchise's success has been a source of motivation for Williamson as he works toward a return.

"Pels in the first round. That's all I needed to see to really be excited to get back out there," Williamson said. "It was exciting to see young players. Jose (Alvarado), Trey (Murphy III), Herb (Jones), Jaxson (Hayes). Just blossoming into players I knew they could be and they knew they could be.

"Then watching (Brandon Ingram). The name speaks for itself. Then CJ (McCollum) being added, it was something to watch. The fans made it so much better."

Zion doubles down on desire to stay with Pelicans: 'I do want to be here'
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