Zion Williamson is well on his way back to the Pelicans starting five
New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will be allowed to play in the team’s season opener after he left the NBA bubble because of a family emergency on July 16. He is currently back on the league’s campus and will only need to quarantine for four days before rejoining the Pelicans.
The general rule for players who leave the Orlando bubble without permission is a minimum 10-day quarantine, which can be extended up to 14 days. However, Williamson received permission from the league to return home, and a family medical emergency is considered an extenuating circumstance in the rule book. In order to get the shortened quarantine period, Williamson had to be tested for COVID-19 daily and return a negative result for at least 7 days prior to his return.
Zion Williamson will rejoin the Pelicans for their opening game against the Jazz
ESPN’s Andrew Lopez reported that, even though Williamson will be permitted to play against the Jazz on July 30, the Pelicans are still considering what his role will be. With the brief quarantine, he will have been away from the team for nearly two weeks, which could raise problems with his fitness as well as team chemistry.
Even if his status is officially up in the air, it would be shocking if we don’t see Williamson on the court next week. He scored 448 points in just 19 games with the Pelicans earlier in the season. He also led the team in both his offensive and defensive rating. They won’t be truly competitive unless Williamson suits up.
The rookie has clearly been through a lot in recent weeks, but it’s hard not to be excited about seeing him play once again. He’s one of the most promising young talents in the league, and if his head is in the game, he could be a force to be reckoned with in the bubble.