Southwest Notes: Williamson, Nance Jr., Harrison, Lofton

Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson, who won’t play in the play-in tournament and is considered unlikely to be available in the first round if the team makes it that far, admits that his hamstring issue is more mental than physical at the moment, according to Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

“I can pretty much do everything,” said Williamson, who hasn’t suited up for the Pelicans since Jan. 2. “It’s just a matter of the level that I was playing at before my hamstring. I’m just a competitor. I don’t want to go out there and be in my own head and affect the team. I can just be on the sidelines supporting them more. I know myself. If I was to go out there, I would be in my head a lot. I would hesitate on certain moves. And that could affect the game.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans have added Larry Nance Jr. to the injury report for their play-in game against the Thunder on Wednesday, according to a team press release. The forward is listed as questionable due to left ankle soreness. He’s averaging 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds this season.
  • Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison vows that the team won’t miss the postseason next season, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets. “They (the fans) should be frustrated. I’m frustrated. This year was unacceptable. … We’re going to evaluate everything, and we’re not going to be in this situation again.”
  • Kenneth Lofton Jr.‘s four-year contract with the Grizzlies is guaranteed for next season and is worth a total of $6,927,014, but it’s non-guaranteed for 2024/25 and includes a team option in 2025/26, Hoops Rumors has learned. He received a $1MM salary for 2022/23, which was well above his prorated minimum. The remaining three years are at the minimum salary. Lofton had his two-way contract converted over the weekend.
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