Zion Williamson's knee rehab is going well. Williamson's knee is now "fully weight bearing" and the Pelicans are "really excited with where he’s at.” There is still no timetable for his return, but Stephen A. Smith says Williamson should aim for next season.
He has a point. This is something we now discuss in every situation for every player. When is and isn't it worth it to play? Kawhi Leonard is in favor of load management, LeBron James wants to play if he's healthy. Who is right? Whoever won the most recent game. (Sometimes.)
If Zion is healthy, he should be allowed to play, but the Pelicans wouldn't be stupid to sit him, healthy or on the mend. He is their top asset. He is their key to selling tickets next season and beyond. If he sits this entire season, he can win Rookie of the Year next season. He could presumably enter camp in The Best Shape of His Life. There is a lot of upside in sitting down.
If he plays, he gets reps and experience playing in the NBA, but he'll also be at risk of basketball-related injuries. There is no right answer, unless the Pelicans someday win a title with Zion. Until then, there is just second-guessing.