JULY 30: Williamson will be active on Thursday vs. the Jazz, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). Although Zion won’t have a set minutes restriction, he’s expected to play in “short quick bursts,” Haynes adds.
JULY 29: The availability of Pelicans star rookie forward Zion Williamson for his team’s first seeding match on Thursday against the Jazz will be a game-time decision, according to head coach Alvin Gentry, writes Andrew Lopez of ESPN.
Williamson cleared his on-campus quarantine on Tuesday, having returned to the league’s Orlando restart campus last week after tending to a pressing family matter. He will have practiced twice with his team ahead of Gentry’s decision tomorrow.
Gentry did acknowledge during a press conference today that Williamson took part in five-on-five drills on Tuesday. Zion engaged in a light-contact practice with the Pelicans today, per Mark Medina of USA Today (Twitter link).
Williamson has no reservations about his preferences for tomorrow’s contest in Orlando. “If you know me, I want to hoop,” Williamson said. The No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA draft has been limited to just 19 contests out of a possible 64 this season, though his play has lifted New Orleans to the brink of playoff contention.
Williamson boasts a terrific slash line of 23.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 2.2 APG, while shooting 58.9% from the field and 46.2% from long range. For the 2019/20 season, the Pelicans are 11-8 with Williamson and 17-28 without him.
Gentry noted that the Pelicans’ medical staff would determine whether or not there would be a minutes restriction on Williamson, should he indeed suit up on Thursday, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). Williamson had no known medical issues prior to departing the Orlando campus earlier this month.