NEW ORLEANS (WGHP) — Former Duke University star Zion Williamson is preparing to sign a five-year rookie max extension to remain with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Williamson is of course one of the more polarizing and popular prospects to enter the NBA after his prolific one-year stint at Duke which saw him become an international phenom.

The Pelicans selected Williamson with the number one overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft looking for a new face of the franchise following the departure of Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, his career has been defined by injuries ever since then.

While Williamson has dazzled fans when healthy and playing, he has only played in 85 games throughout his first three NBA seasons. Williamson missed all of the 2021-2022 season after suffering a foot fracture.

Williamson’s first three seasons in New Orleans were also clouded by drama surrounding speculation around his desire to be a member of the team. He spent a large portion of the 2021-2022 season away from the Pelicans and rehabbing on his own, a fairly unusual move for a player of Williamson’s caliber.

However, this extension is a good sign of mended fences as the Pelicans now boast a talented roster featuring NBA All-Stars Brandon Ingram, also a former Duke star, and CJ McCollum and have hopes of making a deep run into the playoffs next season.