Charles Barkley Wouldn’t Risk Giving Zion Williamson a Big-Money Contract Extension

The 76ers owner, Jerry Colangelo, reportedly met with the Duke forward and his agent in his office over a potential extension. However, Barkley suggested that he would rather not risk giving Zion an astronomical contract because of his age and injury history.

Zion Williamson is a top prospect for the 2018 NBA Draft. He has been given a Nike contract, but Charles Barkley said that he would not give him a big-money contract extension.

Zion Williamson seemed to be a can’t-miss talent when he first joined the NBA. While the striker has shown glimpses of brilliance since then, he has yet to find his stride. Zion has only played 85 games in three professional seasons due to a variety of ailments. That fact, it seems, is now having an impact on his financial situation.

The New Orleans Pelicans have been said to be reluctant to provide their top player a fully guaranteed contract extension. While it may seem to be a big risk, if Charles Barkley were in charge, he’d probably adopt the same approach.

Charles Barkley would not bet a large sum of money on Zion Williamson’s health.

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While being a general manager may seem to be a simple job when things are going well, every front office executive will confront difficult choices at some point. A prospective Zion Williamson contract will be a make-or-break moment for Trajan Langdon and the Pelicans’ brass.

Charles Barkley recognizes the difficulty, and if he were in charge, he wouldn’t be prepared to back up the Brinks truck.

“To me, giving him $200 million is the job you are hired to perform,” Chuck said on The Dan Patrick Show. “Would I hand it over to him?” I wouldn’t, Dan, since he’s never been healthy. I’m not even referring to the NBA. I’m referring to high school, college, and the NBA. He has never been in good health. And he hasn’t shown me that he can keep his weight under control… I’m not comparing myself to him, yet the circumstance is same. I weighed 300 pounds when I initially joined the NBA. And the most essential person in my career, Moses Malone, helped me shed 50 pounds and develop into the outstanding player I am today. … “I believe Zion was in the same boat as me.”

Barkley rehashed his Malone anecdote after some technological issues and questioned whether anybody in New Orleans could push Zion to reach his full potential. But, in the end of the day, he came down to a single deciding issue.

“The concern is, if he departs and becomes the player we believe he can be,” Sir Charles concluded. “And with good reason. But you have to make that choice; for me, the question is, “Who is in that building every day?” What do you suppose he’s like as a kid? Do you think he’ll lose weight? Or do you believe he’ll just accept the money and live happily ever after?”

With Williamson, the Pelicans are stuck between a rock and a hard place, as Barkley put it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=WkFLpaiUNE4

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Although it’s easy to dismiss Barkley as only attempting to elicit a response, he does make a legitimate point about Williamson’s contract predicament. The Pelicans are taking a gamble here regardless of what happens.

Zion will get compensated whether he remains in New Orleans or goes. He already has a large sum of money in the bank and will be able to sign another deal based only on his potential. He’ll be alright, at the risk of sounding as though happiness can be purchased.

The Pelicans, on the other hand, are about to make a franchise-altering choice. If they sign Zion to a deal for over $200 million and he is unable to play, they would have effectively burnt a large sum of money. While there’s always opportunity for some creative accounting, it’ll be difficult to develop a contender if you’ve set aside a portion of your pay limit for someone who isn’t delivering.

On the other hand, Williamson’s brilliance is tough to overlook. If he can remain healthy and get back on the court, he has the potential to radically shift the franchise’s trajectory. The Pelicans rallied to make the NBA Playoffs in 2022; think how much better they might have been if they had their star forward. You’ll appear like a fool if you let him leave town and he puts it all together, as Barkley put it.

Even the Pelicans’ apparent desire for a partly guaranteed deal for their top player may not be the best option. While such a contract has been done before — Joel Embiid previously signed one with the Sixers — it’s feasible that the offer may irritate Zion. Will he accept a smaller deal as a last smack in the face if he’s already (possibly) uninterested and looking elsewhere?

However, regardless of whatever choice the Pelicans select, some danger is inherent. That is, however, why general managers and front-office executives are paid so much.

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RELATED: Charles Barkley’s ‘Best Compliment’ Still Placed Him Behind Michael Jordan

The “zion williamson weight, and height” is a question that has been asked for a while. The answer is that Charles Barkley would not risk giving Zion Williamson a big-money contract extension.

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