The New Orleans Pelicans enter the 2021-22 NBA season with a sense of urgency. There were some positive signs from New Orleans a season ago but, after the season, the Pelicans moved on from Stan Van Gundy, flipped Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams, and remade the roster around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. However, Pelicans president of basketball operations David Griffin shared a curveball at the team’s Media Day in September, revealing that Williamson suffered a fracture in his right foot that required surgery in the offseason.
At the time, Griffin indicated that Williamson was on track to be ready for the regular season, but with the Pelicans beginning their 82-game journey in fewer than 10 days, it seems as if the team’s franchise player isn’t quite game-ready.
Willie Green says Zion Williamson will “get some scans” in the next day or two on his right foot and they’ll proceed from there on what’s next.
Williamson has not started running yet, they are waiting on scans for that.
Has continued to shoot and do some dribbling.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) October 11, 2021
In addition to indicating that Williamson has been relegated to only some light shooting and dribbling, head coach Willie Green shared that his status won’t change, at least when it comes to running, until his scan results are in. “We’re holding him back on running until we know further from his tests coming up,” Green said, via Andrew Lopez of ESPN.
It isn’t impossible that Williamson could function in a regular season setting in the near term, but New Orleans plays their opener on Oct. 20. That leaves a very short timetable for Williamson if he isn’t running at this stage, and that is before taking into account any extra caution the Pelicans might exercise with their centerpiece. New Orleans does have other weapons, headlined by Ingram, but the Pelicans are clearly built around Williamson, and this is a situation that is worth closely monitoring as the season looms.