Pelicans’ Zion Williamson (hamstring) to be re-evaluated next week

Pelicans Zion Williamson (hamstring) to be re-evaluated next week

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (right hamstring strain) will be re-evaluated in the middle of next week. The 6-foot-6 forward is participating in on-court workouts for a potential return, per sources. Williamson, 22, has not played since Jan. 2. The two-time All-Star has missed 47 games.

“As of right now, the plan is to be re-evaluated at some point in the middle of next week. And at that juncture, the Pelicans will only have about two games left on the schedule,” said Chris Haynes of TNT. Williamson is slated to play against the New York Knicks (Apr. 7) and Minnesota Timberwolves (Apr. 9).

According to a couple of NBA betting sites, the Pelicans have 16th-ranked odds to win the championship. Some sportsbooks are giving the Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks greater odds.

Zion Williamson missed over half the season. However, this was largely in part due to his slow recovery process. “During the process of trying to return, he did suffer a setback which is prolonging his return,” added Haynes. As long as the Pelicans have their star player back for the playoffs, that’s all that matters.

New Orleans is 38-38 and ranks eighth overall in the Western Conference standings. The Pelicans trail seventh-seeded Minnesota by one game. Not to mention, New Orleans remains half a game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers. Likewise, the Pels have a one-game lead on Dallas and OKC.

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (hamstring) to be re-evaluated next week after missing more than half of the regular season

Through 29 starts this season, Williamson has averaged 26 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 33 minutes per game. To add to these statistics, the third-year wing was shooting 60.8% from the floor and 36.8% beyond the arc prior to his hamstring injury.

In the Pelicans’ 119-118 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 28, the forward scored a career-high 43 points in 34 minutes. On top of tallying three boards, five assists, one steal, and one block, Williamson shot 14-of-21 (66.7%) from the field and drained a 3-pointer.

Moreover, Zion Williamson signed a five-year, $194.3 million designated rookie contract extension with New Orleans last July. His $13,534,817 club option for this season was exercised in October 2021. For the 2023-24 season, the forward will earn $33.5 million.

If Williamson can stay healthy when he returns, which remains to be seen, the Pelicans could advance further in the playoffs this season. Last season, New Orleans finished 36-46 and ranked ninth overall in the West. During the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Phoenix Suns defeated the Pels in six games.

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