Through his brief time in the NBA, New Orleans Pelicans rookie forward Zion Williamson has shown to have a bright future ahead of him. That could foreseeable see him garner many lucrative financial deals on and off the court over his career. However, Williamson is involved in a legal matter that may have a significant financial impact on his career potential earnings.
Zion Williamson sued by Gina Ford, Prime Sports
Over the last several of months, Williamson has become engulfed in a legal matter that stems from the end of his brief collegiate career.
That all came about in a lawsuit that came about last June after he sued Prime Sports Marketing, LLC. and its president Gina Ford, in North Carolina for alleging that he was misguided into an agency deal. Williamson has voiced that he believes appropriate steps were taken on his behalf to void the contract he had inked with the agency.
The 19-year-old had filed the lawsuit with the hopes of garnering a court ruling that would support his claim. He had gone the route of voiding the contract as he had decided to join Creative Artists Agency (CAA) on May 30 to have them work out his deal with the Pelicans and other any other endorsement and marketing opportunities.
Williamson had notified Ford and Prime Sports of his decision the following day. That led to the countersuit of $100 million that was on the basis that the Pelicans’ rookie had breached his contract that he willingly signed. In that lawsuit, Ford alleges that he helped him garner deals with EA Sports along with Mercedes Benz, Beats by Dre, T-Mobile, Puma, and General Mills.
Zion Williamson’s lawsuit claim backed by North Carolina law
There is much that Ford and Prime Sports allege that Williamson acted in a conspiring manner to get out of the deal.
However, the former Duke Product has stated in his lawsuit that the signing with the agency had initially violated a North Carolina law, Uniform Athlete Agent Act (UAAA), that protects student-athletes from unethical agents. Williamson’s lawsuit also points out that Ford isn’t a registered player agent with the National Basketball Players Association, which means she is also not a certified agent in the NCAA that has allegedly broken the UAAA that would allow him to void the deal.
Meanwhile, Ford voiced that since Williamson forfeited his NCAA eligibility, he was no longer considered a college athlete. Beyond that, what it means is that the NCAA could become involved with this part of the lawsuit that could draw much scrutiny.
Williamson is in a situation that could impact him significantly with his potential earnings in the NBA. His rookie deal that includes his qualifying offer could push him to roughly $61.8 million over the duration. There is also the potential of him signing a max contract or two over his career that could wind up occurring down the line with his current career trajectory that could see him earn possible north of $300 million.
Possible outcomes to Williamson’s situation
It is a tough legal matter that Williamson has found himself with many different possible routes that this case could take.
One scenario that will always remain on the table will be the two sides settling the situation out of court. There is no telling about how much longer this process could extend as Williamson has yet to conduct his deposition, which will give a clear understanding of whether things are.
Although the 2019-20 NBA season is currently on pause due to concerns over the coronavirus, this is a matter that the Pelicans big man will likely not want to linger on over the next several months. It’s still quite early in the legal process, but it’s a situation that could continue to hinder him off the court for even longer than it already has.
Ultimately, only time will tell how things will proceed as the case continues through the court system.