The New Orleans Pelicans should have their top rookie back at practice very soon.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry confirmed that Zion Williamson, who was off the NBA’s restart campus at Walt Disney World in Orlando to tend to a family matter, is expected to complete his quarantine and practice soon. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Williamson officially cleared quarantine and is set to practice on Tuesday night.
Pelicans F Zion Williamson has cleared quarantine and will return to practice with the team in Orlando this evening, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 28, 2020
“Fortunately for us, he’s back here,” Gentry said Monday. “He’ll be out of quarantine tomorrow. We’ll go from there. We’re just happy to have him back. It’s a real private thing with his family, which is first and foremost on our mind. To make sure everything was fine there.”
The Pelicans defeated the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday in their final scrimmage before the 2019-20 begins on Thursday with seeding games. New Orleans is playing in the first seeding game of the restart, taking on the Utah Jazz (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT).
Executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said Monday he expects Williamson to join the Pelicans in practice soon.
“In theory, his quarantine would end Tuesday afternoon-ish,” Griffin said, per ESPN. “The problem is he has to test and get the results before they release him.”
Williamson had to serve a four-day quarantine for leaving the league’s Disney bubble on July 16. He returned to Disney on Friday night and immediately went into quarantine.
Williamson was tested daily during his absence and continually came back negative for COVID-19, which helped his hopes for a shorter quarantine upon his return to Disney. The league has said quarantine for those who leave the bubble can last as much as 10 days or more if those individuals are not tested daily while they are away.
The No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA draft is averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in 19 games this season for the Pelicans, who are one of six teams in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.