July 16, 2020, 11:25 amZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have reported Zion Williamson has left Orlando to attend to an urgent family medical matter.
Zion is expected to rejoin the team in Orlando at an unspecified later date. The team begins their restart on July 30, against the Utah Jazz.
Source: New Orleans Pelicans on Twitter
July 15, 2020, 2:15 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson missed much of his rookie year after undergoing knee surgery but still finished with top-100 value on a per-game basis in 8-category leagues.
The first overall pick in the 2019 Draft was electrifying from the start. He ended the regular season averaging 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks. Williamson shot 58.9 percent from the field while being eased along at 29.7 minutes per contest. While Ja Morant won the Rookie of the Year award, Zion mostly lived up to the hype in his first 19 appearances. However, owners who waited months for his return were probably disappointed by his 64.5 percent shooting from the charity stripe. Zion can also improve his fantasy stock if he is more of a deterrent around the rim.
July 15, 2020, 1:43 pmDerrick FavorsPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Derrick Favors finished with top-110 value during 2019-20 despite playing 24.2 minutes per night on average.
While Favors was less productive after the debut of Zion Williamson, he dominated the glass with a career-high 9.9 rebounds per game. Favors also averaged 9.2 points, 1.7 assists, 1.0 blocks and 0.6 steals en route to top-90 valuation in 9-category leagues. While the 62 percent shooting from the field was his highest single-season mark, Favors combined it with a career-low 58.1 percent conversion rate on free throws.
July 15, 2020, 1:29 pmJrue HolidayPG, New Orleans Pelicans
Jrue Holiday contributed in all categories during 2019-20 while claiming top-30 fantasy value in 8-category leagues.
Holiday's production slowed a bit when Zion Williamson joined the Pelicans. Nevertheless, he averaged 19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.8 blocks. The 1.3 offensive rebounds per contest were a career best. While Holiday shot a career-low 70 percent from the charity stripe, he sank 35.7 percent of his 3-point attempts compared to 32.5 percent the year before. Holiday finished with top-40 value in 9-category formats.
June 30, 2020, 12:26 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
GM David Griffin said on Tuesday that three players have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in self-isolation.
Griffin did not mention which players tested positive, so we can only speculate on who it may be. With the season fast approaching, this could potentially be a major blow to the Pelicans' chances of making a playoff appearance.
Source: Andrew Lopez on Twitter
June 3, 2020, 11:41 amZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Pelicans, Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards will be the six non-playoff teams resuming action when the NBA restarts.
This makes complete sense, as they're the only non-playoff teams that can sniff the postseason. Woj backs up an earlier Shams Charania report about a potential play-in tournament for the final playoff spot in each Conference as well. If the ninth seed trails the eighth seed by more than four games when the league's truncated regular season wraps up, the eighth seed makes the playoffs. If the deficit is under four games, however, the two teams will compete in a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for the ninth.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
May 20, 2020, 1:42 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson (right knee) has been able to rehab at team facilities during the league shutdown.
While he did not work out on the court, Williamson did have access to training staff with the goal of keeping his knee flexible. He is expected to be ready for game action if the season resumes.
May 10, 2020, 8:24 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson's former marketing representative, who he has since cut ties with, called upon him to admit his parents had demanded and received gifts from Nike, Adidas and Duke, in hopes of convincing him to sign with the shoe monoliths and the university respectively.
Williamson sued Gina Ford and Prime Sports in June, in an effort to end his contract with her company. Williamson's attorneys claimed the contract was in violation of North Carolina's Uniform Athlete Agents Act since Prime Sports is not recognized by the NBA Players Association or an acknowledged athlete agent in North Carolina or Flordia. It would not be a shocker to discover Williamson received some under the table incentives from the competing shoe companies or NCAA teams hoping to acquire his services on the basketball court, but this should not change his fantasy circumstances for whenever the NBA suspension is lifted. While Williamson clearly has the ability to stuff the stat sheet, he'll have to improve upon his free-throw shooting (.645), and his meager steal (0.8) and block rates (0.5) to become an early-round asset next season.
March 24, 2020, 4:30 pmJA MorantPG, Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant is the overwhelming favorite to win the 2019-20 Rookie of the Year award, according to a new ESPN poll.
The poll consists of national and international reporters as well as a mixture of local beat writers from across the league. Ja Morant wound up garnering all 70 first-place votes. Morant has been leading the pack all year, but Zion Williamson started to make things interesting since making his debut, albeit in only 19 games. Morant, who has appeared in 59 games, is averaging 17.6 points and 6.9 assists while leading Memphis to a potential playoff berth.
March 11, 2020, 10:47 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans-Kings game has been cancelled on Wednesday.
The center for the Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for Coronavirus on Wednesday. It was later discovered that one of the refs working the Pelicans-Kings game refereed a Jazz game on Monday which prompted league officials to cancel the game.
Source: Robert Littal on Twitter
March 7, 2020, 12:05 amZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson posted 17 points (7-for-9 shooting), six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 32 minutes on Friday as the Pelicans beat the Heat.
Williamson was third on the team in minutes, as it seems he is ramping up to a full workload as the season wears on. He was much more efficient than Brandon Ingram tonight (12 points on 4-for-20 shooting, five rebounds, three assists, two threes, one steal and one block) but the two talented youngsters were effective enough to beat a talented Heat squad.
March 5, 2020, 12:27 amZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson played 33 minutes on Wednesday night, the second game of a back-to-back set, and put up 21 points, six rebounds and three assists on 9-of-18 from the field.
This marks Williamson's first back-to-back and while overtime helped pad his minutes, it didn't look like he was being held back all that much. The phenom is pretty much unstoppable on the low block but right now his fantasy game is a bit hollow thanks to lacking defensive numbers and a poor .642 from the charity stripe on an absurd 8.6 attempts per game. There's early-round upside but the highlight plays have masked a lackluster fantasy run to a certain extent.
March 3, 2020, 11:07 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson kept up his phenomenal play on Tuesday, scoring 25 points, grabbing eight rebounds, throwing in three assists and nabbing a career-high four steals in a loss to the Wolves.
In addition to free throw shooting, defensive stats had been a weak point thus far for Williamson. He quieted some doubters on Tuesday evening with his four steals, and even added a block. Despite his efficiency and highlight-worthy plays, Zion ranks just outside the top-100 over the past two weeks (six games). He's still only 19 and the talent is undeniable, so its only a matter of time before he rounds out the rest of his game. It just likely won't come this season with just over five weeks remaining on the schedule.
March 3, 2020, 7:10 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Coach Alvin Gentry said that Zion Williamson is expected to play in both sets of the Pelicans back-to-back set when the team takes on the Wolves and the Mavs respectively.
Williamson may see a less than normal workload in Tuesday's game with the idea of keeping him fresh against the Mavs on Wednesday. It's something to monitor, but owners have to be ecstatic knowing that the superstar forward has already been declared ready to go for both games. Get him in all lineups.
Source: Daniel Sallerson on Twitter
March 1, 2020, 10:38 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson went off on Sunday in a 122-114 loss to the Lakers with a career-high 35 points on 12-of-16 shooting.
Although Williamson turned the ball over six times and did not record a defensive stat, he did knock down 11 of his 13 attempts from the stripe. He is a top-50 option for teams that are punting free throws, but performances like this one flash his ability to be a fantasy powerhouse.