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Zion Williamson available to return to lineup Friday vs. Lakers [UPDATE]

The Pelicans phenom was placed in health and safety protocols and held out Wednesday night.

Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots a free throw during a NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at Smoothie King Center on January 08, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

UPDATE: Jan. 14, 4:44 p.m. — Williamson is available to return to the lineup for Friday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers after sitting out Wednesday while in health and safety protocols.

New Orleans Pelicans PF/C Zion Williamson has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers after being placed in health and safety protocols, the team announced. The Pelicans had already ruled out PG Lonzo Ball due to injury and Eric Bledsoe is questionable to play. With Williamson being placed into protocols, there’s obviously the off-chance that this game ends up being postponed. We’ve already seen three games Wednesday postponed due to health protocols.

With Williamson ruled out, the Pelicans could be down a few regulars for their matchup vs. the Clippers. With Ball ruled out, we should see Eric Bledsoe slide over to PG and Josh Hart ($5,400) inserted into the starting lineup. Williamson may be replaced by Nicolo Melli ($3,000) or Jaxson Hayes ($3,000). Either way, this is looking like a great spot for Brandon Ingram ($8,500) is the game is played. No Ball means the offense will run through Ingram more as the ball-handler. No Williamson means more touches on offense, more rebounding chances. Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($3,100) at near min-price becomes an interesting value along with Hart and whoever starts for Zion.

We’ll have to wait and see what the line or Pels-Clippers ends up being after this news. There’s a real chance the game will be postponed as well. We’ve seen this work in favor of the team missing players in the past. The Miami Heat almost beat the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night after ruling out Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and other regulars due to health protocols. The same happened to the Heat against the Washington Wizards, with the Wiz putting up a fight without Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Thomas Bryant and a few other regulars. Personally, I’m staying away from this game on books. DFS is where we can gain an edge if the game plays.

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