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Rumor: Zion Williamson could return for Pelicans-Jazz on Thursday

Zion Williamson

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 11: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts after a loss to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on January 11, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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Zion Williamson has been inching toward his NBA debut.

Could it finally come this week?

Mitch Lawrence of SiriusXM NBA Radio:

The Pelicans are still in the fringe of the playoff race – four games and six teams behind eighth place in the Western Conference. Likewise, Williamson could still make noise in a Rookie of the Year race led by Ja Morant.

But both seem like longshots, even if Williamson returns this quickly.

Still, Williamson getting back on the court, producing some highlights and showing the promise that made him the No. 1 pick would be welcome. He and New Orleans are building toward something greater. Optimism there is about far more than just this lost-looking season.