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.
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.
Zion would have took a pay cut as the #1 pick 😂😂
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) July 1, 2021
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.