Zion Williamson has been a regular at the New Orleans Pelicans' practice facility throughout the suspension of the season as he received an exception to rehab injuries under the supervision of team trainers. 

"Zion has been diligent about taking care of himself," said David Griffin. "He's in a good space physically and mentally."

Another team source went further with assessing Williamson.

"He's going to shock some people," the source said.

The Pelicans have been stressing pliability for Williamson.

"We were fortunate," Griffin said. "They're able to do a lot of the things that they needed to do from a strength and conditioning pliability standpoint."

The Pelicans are encouraged for Williamson and their young core to play meaningful basketball.

"Those reps against the best players on a bigger stage will be meaningful for Zion certainly as a 19-year-old," Griffin said while also noting the team's other young players. "I think it's important for those guys to play some meaningful-slash-playoff basketball."