Will the New Orleans Pelicans have Zion Williamson available for the NBA Playoffs? Opinions differ on the star big man’s return to the lineup.
Three years ago, the Pelicans drafted Zion Williamson with hopes of the Duke star leading them to playoff glory.
They’ve made it to the postseason for the first time in his NBA career…and they did it without him.
Williamson hasn’t played at all in 2022 after suffering a foot fracture during the offseason. He had surgery in July and his return to action has been delayed because of soreness.
Despite his absence, the Pelicans rode the wave with C.J. McCollum and Brandon Ingram. They made it past the Clippers in the Play-in Tournament to grab the No. 8 seed.
Now the question is whether or not New Orleans can look forward to adding their star forward to the mix for the playoffs.
Zion Williamson injury: Will New Orleans Pelicans let Zion Williamson play in NBA Playoffs?
The short answer is no one knows.
The long answer is that Williamson’s chances of making it back seem to depend on who you ask.
According to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez, “there’s currently a difference of opinion between the Pelicans and Williamson on whether he is healthy enough to play.”
Williamson’s camp seems to be pushing for him to be cleared. He has posted several social media videos showing him doing elaborate dunks and even showed off his moves during pregame warm-ups.
Meanwhile, the team continues to insist “that the bone in Williamson’s foot hasn’t healed enough for him to take the floor.”
He has made progress from individual drills to 3-on-3 work before the end of the regular season. So it seems he’s closer to playing than at any point this season. It’s just not clear if that means possibly suiting up for a first-round game against the Suns or needing to pull of a miraculous upset to ensure a second-round appearance.
As of now, the likelihood of Williamson playing in the playoffs feels about as high as New Orleans beating Phoenix in a seven-game series.