When the NBA unveiled the regular-season schedule for all 30 teams in August, the Pelicans received 30 nationally televised prime-time games, including on opening night against the Toronto Raptors and Christmas Day against the Denver Nuggets.
Williamson's arrival was likely a significant driving force behind the decision to showcase New Orleans so much. The 19-year-old was a phenomenon in his lone season at Duke and became the most-hyped draft prospect since LeBron James in 2003.
On the eve of the Oct. 22 season opener, the Pelicans announced Williamson had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
David Griffin, New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations, told reporters that Williamson is expected to make his professional debut Wednesday.
Adding Williamson at this point in the season could be a significant boost to a team in the midst of a recent hot streak. The team started slowly with a 6-22 record, but the Pelicans have rebounded with 10 wins in their past 14 games to get within 3.5 games of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoff race.