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Zion Williamson confirmed as start in his NBA debut vs. Spurs [UPDATE]

Pelicans rookie will play in short bursts, per coach Alvin Gentry.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson prior to a game against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center.  Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Jan. 22, 7:48 p.m. — Zion is confirmed in the starting lineup and will play in short bursts, per coach Alvin Gentry.

UPDATE: Jan. 22, 2:29 p.m. — Williamson is now probable for Wednesday’s game vs. the Spurs. Again, this isn’t anything new really, Zion is expected to make his NBA debut tonight and play around 15-20 minutes in the starting lineup. I feel like a broken record typing that sentence over and over the past couple days. Just tell us he’s going to play already, amirite???

New Orleans Pelicans PF Zion Williamson is officially being listed as questionable to play Wednesday vs. the San Antonio Spurs. Zion is expected to make his NBA debut in the game.

Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, hasn’t played all season after undergoing knee surgery back in October. A few weeks ago, Pelicans GM David Griffin announced that Zion was expected to make his NBA debut on Jan. 22 against the Spurs. So while he’s listed as questionable, he should play in his first game.

Also on the injury report is Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick as probable, while Derrick Favors, Josh Hart and Jahlil Okafor are also questionable with Zion. If Favors and Okafor are out and Zion plays, then Williamson probably sees closer to 20 minutes just due to the rotation being thinner.

Fantasy Basketball analysis: Pelicans PF Zion Williamson

Zion ($5,000 on DraftKings) is expected to be on a minutes restriction of around 15-20 in this game. If that’s the case, it’s hard to view him as a viable fantasy basketball option right now. He’s super talented, but this just isn’t going to be enough minutes for him to return much value in DFS. In season-long, I’d like to get a look at him in a few games before making an assessment on whether to roll him out in your lineup. If it’s a deeper league, there may be a case for playing him right away. In shallow leagues (8-10 teams) I don’t think a case can be made right away.