Zion Williamson is back at Pelicans practice with matchup with Bulls ahead


Cue the Michael Scott 'It's Happening' gif.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Pelicans announced that Zion Williamson participated in his "first full practice" of the season. He won't play on the Pelicans' current west coast trip, which features matchups with the Lakers and Kings on Jan. 3 and 4, but could Williamson return when the team jets back home on Jan. 6? It's not impossible. Earlier this week, after all, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Williamson and the Pelicans were targeting a January debut for the rookie phenom.

There inlies the intrigue for Bulls fans: The Bulls visit New Orleans on Jan. 8.

Williamson has yet to play a regular season game, but he got his licks in against the Bulls back in an early October preseason matchup, scoring 29 points on 12-for-13 shooting, and throwing down a number of trademark sense-defying dunks:

Without Williamson, the Pelicans are off to a slow start to the season. They reside firmly in the cellar of the Western Conference with a record of 11-23, leading only the 9-26 Warriors.

In a month of January flush with high-level competition, Williamson's return would transform a winnable, ho-hum road game into a much more challenging (albeit highlight-happy) proposition for the Bulls. It'll be appointment television if it happens.

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