7:30 LRN Sportscast July 2

The Pelicans and star forward Zion Williamson have reportedly reached an agreement on a five-year contract extension worth up to as much as $231 million. Zion has played in just 85 of a possible 226 games over his career so far. FOX Sports’ Rob Parker says that even with his injury history, the Pelicans’ potential reward is worth the risk.

Cut 7 (10) “…gotta sign him.”

The Pelicans haven’t made much noise at the start of free agency. Head Coach Willie Green’s team already has plenty of players who will be looking for minutes, a problem he says he’s glad to have.

Cut 16 (20) “…just keep rolling.”

Now that USC and UCLA have made the move to the Big Ten, NYU Sports Law professor Dan Lust says that he expects more dominoes to fall as other conferences scramble to remain viable against the surging juggernauts in the Big Ten and Southeastern Conference. One of the biggest could be on the national level as the notion of amateurism in collegiate athletics, which took a major hit from the emergence of NIL, will be tested by players who see billions of dollars changing hands and ask for their fair share.

Cut 15 (09) “…entitled to.”

In other conference realignment news, the Southland Conference officially welcomed Texas A-and-M-Commerce as the league’s ninth member, while the Sun Belt adds James Madison, Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss.

Former Louisiana Tech star and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson died last week from the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine, based on the results of an autopsy on the body of the 26-year-old as reported by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore. Ferguson was found unresponsive in the late hours of June 21.