Stephen A. Smith On Pelicans’ Zion Williamson: ‘It’s Not About His Game, It’s About How Many Burgers He’s Eating’

ESPN NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith took a shot at New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson, Stephen A. Smith, Pelicans, NBA

Smith has no concerns about Williamson’s game. Instead, he’s more worried about “how many burgers” Zion eats. 

Williamson has appeared in 45 games this season. He’s averaging 22.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 58.5% from the field, 36.4% from 3 and 68.5% from the free-throw line. 

The Pelicans are 34-22. They are in fifth place in the Western Conference standings. Williamson, who has seven double-doubles, has a record of 27-18 this season. 

Williamson was the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Duke. He has played in only 159 games with the Pelicans. Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 season due to a serious foot injury.

The Pelicans signed Williamson to a five-year, $197 million extension in July 2022. Williamson has career averages of 24.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He’s listed at 284 pounds, but most people around the NBA believe the two-time All-Star weighs more than that.

According to NBA reporter Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, the final three years of Williamson’s deal are no longer guaranteed since Zion only played in 29 games last season.

“According to the contract, which was reviewed by The Athletic, the final three years of the deal are no longer guaranteed after Williamson was able to only play in 29 games last season,” Vorkunov wrote. “By missing more than 22 games last season, Williamson triggered a clause that turned the salary he is owed for the 2025-26, 2026-27 and 2027-28 seasons from guaranteed to non-guaranteed.

“That means the Pelicans have the contractual power to waive Williamson after the 2024-25 season with no financial ramifications — though rival team executives believe that would only happen in extreme circumstances. And if Williamson misses significant time this season, it could cut into his guaranteed salary for 2024-25.”

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