Zion Williamson is going to make a boatload of money throughout his NBA career. He will without a doubt be signing more than one max contract as his NBA journey moves along. But for now, he has to settle for his pro-rated rookie scale contract. Let’s break it down shall we?
Zion Williamson was the clear-cut first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. For this reason, he got the largest available contract for any rookie in NBA history.
Zion Williamson’s Rookie Contract:
Season ’19 / ’20 – $9,757,440
Season ’20 / ’21 – $10,245,480
Season ’21 / ’22 – $10,733,400
Season ’22 / ’23 – $13,534,81
Zion will be making over 40 million dollars from his NBA contract throughout his first four years. That’s way more than most NBA rookies, who typically make just a couple million a year.
But despite the hefty sum for a freshman, everyone knows the Pelicans are paying at a massive discount. With the arrival of Zion came loads of season ticket requests, packed arenas, and way more merch flying off the shelves at the Smoothie King Center. Heck, I even have some Zion collectibles of my own.
The effect of Zion towards their salary cap is minimal compared to the money he brings in for the franchise.
His contract total is projected to be at the $44.2 million total, but that may change due to a sliding salary scale down the line. The first two years are guaranteed for him at around $20 million, while the last two are team options that the Pelicans would be crazy not to pick up.
With the league heading for a likely decline in financial figures, the rookie classes going forward may be making significantly less than what Zion Williamson is currently commanding. This may keep him as the highest-earning player on a rookie contract for a couple more years.
It’s not like Zion needs it though. He’s signed massive endorsement deals, including a contract with Jordan Brand worth more than $75 million dollars through 7 years. That puts him at a range with some of the world’s greatest athletes like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
He announced his decision to join Jumpman via this post on Instagram last year.
If all goes well, Zion Williamson could go down as one of the wealthiest athletes ever. His rookie contract is just the beginning.