It is with heavy hearts that we're attempting to return to some semblance of normalcy after the shocking death of Kobe Bryant and eight others in a helicopter crash Sunday. It is really sobering to be thinking about fantasy basketball in light of such real-world tragedy. However, the show must go on, and there remains competition to dethrone, much like the Black Mamba did for so many brilliant years on this Earth. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the entire NBA community.
Without further adieu: Welcome to RotoBaller's weekly injury room report. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, but we have you covered when the injury bug bites.
We'll discuss who is on the mend and who will benefit from the player's absence. The next up-and-coming gem could be waiting on the waiver wire ready for your claim. Let's look at some of the important injuries around the league right now as we head into Week 15 of the fantasy basketball season.
Short-Term NBA Injuries
LaMarcus Aldridge, C, San Antonio Spurs - sprained right thumb
LMA was out on Monday for just the third time this season with a sprained right thumb. It's his natural shooting hand, and it could affect him for a bit when he returns. Look for forward Rudy Gay to see a small increase in minutes as they could install a smaller lineup. Father Time has robbed Gay of a lot of his explosiveness and athleticism, but he's still a decent spot-up shooter. He's not worth the waiver claim unless this turns into a long-term absence.
Marvin Bagley, PF, Sacramento Kings - sore left foot
Bagley was out Monday with a mysterious left foot injury. It is the same foot that forced him out of action for a period earlier this season. Forward Nemanja Bjelica has been playing a lot with center Richaun Holmes (shoulder) out, and he has posted 15.5 points, 8.4 boards, 2.6 dimes and 1.2 steals per game over the last 10. He's likely owned, though. Keep center Dewayne Dedmon on the watch list while Bagley is out as he could drop some points and boards.
Jayson Tatum, SF, Boston Celtics - right groin strain
Tatum missed the last two games with the groin strain. Guard Gordon Hayward lit up the stat sheet in his absence. Hayward had 22 points, 14 rebounds and five assists Friday night and 23 points and six boards Sunday. Hayward is likely owned everywhere, but he has upside while Tatum is out as the team's second option on offense. Tatum is day to day, and he shouldn't be out long.
Mid-Term NBA Injuries
Malcolm Brogdon, PG, Indiana Pacers - concussion
Brogdon was hit above the left eye last week, and he required three stitches. He was also concussed, and it'll take some time for him to clear the protocol. Point guard Aaron Holiday had 12 points and seven dimes Friday and 17 points and four dimes Sunday. He'll be an inconsistent option if you're looking for a few threes and assists.
DeAndre Jordan, C, Brooklyn Nets - dislocated right middle finger
DJ missed his fifth straight game Sunday, but he was originally listed as questionable for the game. That's a good sign. Center Jarrett Allen is filling in at center, but he had just five points, five boards and two blocks in 32 minutes Sunday. Center Nicolas Claxton had four points and five boards in 14 minutes. Allen is averaging 10.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over the last 10 games. Allen is owned in most leagues, but Claxton is worth scooping in deeper formats until Jordan returns.
Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana Pacers - torn quadriceps
We're patiently awaiting Oladipo's 2019-20 debut, and he mentioned that he's targeting Jan. 29. The team might hold him out a little longer since the All-Star break begins Feb. 14. They'll restrict his minutes. His return will hurt point guard Malcolm Brogdon (concussion), who has a malady of his own. Brogdon has carried the team offensively, but he shouldn't lose a ton of steam. It's still worth shopping Brogdon while his value was at its all-time high.
Long-Term NBA Injuries
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Chicago Bulls - stress reaction in right hip
The seven-footer had discomfort pop up in his hip, and tests revealed a stress reaction on his right pelvis. The injury will cost him four to six weeks. Forwards Thaddeus Young and Luke Kornet will hold it down for a thin frontline. The 31-year-old Young is the first one to target as he could post nearly a double-double most nights. Kornet is worth a look in deeper formats.
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