“Zion Williamson would take a paycut as #1 pick if these NCAA rules were implemented back then”: Josh Hart puts out some real talk about his Pelicans teammate’s prospective college earnings

Tonoy Sengupta
|Published 02/07/2021

Josh Hart makes a shocking claim about Zion Williamson after NCAA announces rule changes on player endorsements. 

Remember when Zion Williamson was the apple of every NBA fan’s eye?

During his time at Duke, the star was arguably the most hyped-up prospect since the King himself. And with that kind of reputation, comes a ton of endorsement interest.

If you aren’t aware already, the NCAA has never let its players take up endorsement deals in the past. Over the years, countless players have voiced their distaste over the organization making money off its players and giving them nothing for it. So despite having all the hype in the world, players like Zion weren’t able to get remunerated before they went to the NBA.

Recently though, the NCAA decided to change all that ruling that the players would be allowed to accept endorsement deals with no consequences to their amateur status.

This is a massive victory for college athletes and needs to be celebrated. But, it does make you wonder how much current NBA players could have earned before reaching the league. And well, it seems Pelicans star Josh Hart has a slight hot take about what Zion Williamson would have earned.

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Josh Hart believes Zion Williamson would have taken a pay-cut as the first-overall pick if the NCAA ruling was done during his time

When he was picked first overall in the 2019 NBA draft, he was handed a rookie contract of a little more than 10 million per year.

Needless to say, that alone is a massive amount of money. But, players in the NBA today also earn infinitely more money through endorsements, with Stephen Curry and LeBron James being prime examples of the fact today.

So, with that in mind, could Zion Williamson have earned more than his current rookie contract before even getting to the NBA. Josh Hart certainly thinks so. Here is what he tweeted on the topic.

You know, the player does mean it as kind of a joke, but there is clearly some truth to it.

Given the reach Zanos had during his Duke days, it isn’t unimaginable for Nike to shrug their shoulders and say ‘He’s worth it’, before sliding across a check for 20 million.

At the end of the day though, this is money that Zion Williamson will never be able to tap into. And while that will pain him a little, we are certain that he is very happy for the NCAA players of today and tomorrow.

Also Read: Kenny Smith’s bold comparison brings out hilarious reaction from Charles Barkley on Inside the NBA

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About the author
Tonoy Sengupta

Tonoy Sengupta

Tonoy Sengupta is an Editor of NBA content at The SportsRush. Coming from an athletically inclined family, he has been surrounded by sports ever since he was 4 years old. But, while initially pouring all his time into Football (soccer), at 14, Tonoy discovered basketball through the countless highlights of Stephen Curry humiliating players from Curry Land. And just like that, a fiery passion for the game was ignited within Tonoy. And soon after, he decided to become a student of journalism, graduating in 2022, and choosing sports as his area of interest. Today, you can find him spending 99% of his time browsing through every type of content on every team in the NBA, before uncorking everything he has found to the world. In the 1% he isn't doing this, you can find him playing Basketball, Football, Volleyball, or practically any other sport he has had the opportunity to learn.

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