Is Jonas Valanciunas playing tonight against the Sacramento Kings?

Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Another game, another slew of names listed on the injury report for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The usual suspects – Zion Williamson (hamstring), Larry Nance Jr. (ankle), Jose Alvarado (tibia), and E.J. Liddell (knee) – all continue to be out for the Pelicans.

On top of that, Josh Richardson – the team’s marquee deadline acquisition and starting wing in the last four games he’s appeared in – will miss a second straight game due to personal reasons.

Most of that news (outside of the Richardson component) shouldn’t come as much of a shock to anyone. The real question for tonight’s showdown against the Sacramento Kings is whether the team will once again be without the services of Jonas Valanciunas, who has missed the last two contests with a calf injury.

As the tweet above reads, Valanciunas’ status for tonight’s game is questionable. That designation is noteworthy because it is a step up from “doubtful,” which is what he was listed as prior to the team’s Friday night clash against the Golden State Warriors.

However, this upgrade isn’t a guarantee he is going to play tonight. As you’ll recall, he was also listed as questionable to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday before ultimately not suiting up at all for that game.

According to’s Christian Clark, Valanciunas was a full participant in yesterday’s practice and looked okay, but the team will wait until shootaround today to make a final determination.

Generally speaking, being listed as questionable means a player has something like a 50/50 chance of playing that night.

If he can’t go, Willy Hernangomez, the big who has been starting in his absence, will likely garner his third consecutive start. In his last two games, Hernangomez has averaged 6.5 PPG/6.5 RPG/1.5 APG in 18.2 minutes of action. Jaxson Hayes will play the role of backup center. In his last two games, he’s averaged 10 PPG/2.5 RPG/2.0 APG in 18.4 minutes of playing time.

The Pelicans have also been experimenting with a small-ball lineup to close the last two outings. This unit features Herbert Jones at the five, playing alongside Naji Marshall, Trey Murphy III, CJ McCollum, and Brandon Ingram.

Who is the Pelicans' best three-point shooter?. dark. Next