The New Orleans Pelicans are among the three teams currently tied for ninth in the West, along with Portland and Sacramento, 3.5 games back of the Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot. As the NBA is eight days out from the restart of the season, with scrimmages beginning on Wednesday, New Orleans is currently without the presence of their star rookie Zion Williamson.
Williamson left the Orlando bubble last week to attend to a family matter and, as the Pelicans noted in an update on Wednesday, remains away from the team and with his family, with no timetable for his return.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) July 22, 2020
The Pelicans do note that Williamson is being tested daily and has been returning negative tests throughout his absence, which is important because players who are tested daily while out of the bubble are granted shorter quarantine periods — as few as four days — once back in Orlando, so long as they continue to produce negative test results.
Williamson’s chief focus right now is on his family, as it should be, and hopefully whatever is going on that pulled him away from the bubble will see a positive resolution. He still plans to rejoin the team, but with their first game in just eight days, there’s a very legitimate chance he misses some game action even if he does make it back to Orlando soon, as he’ll have been away from the court for two full weeks once he clears a quarantine period.