I don't know about you folks, but I'm having a bit of a dented season so far. This weekend's action put a few additional names on the shelf. Let's take a quick trip through the latest from the infirmary.
Ricky Rubio, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves: Out seven to eight weeks with a severe ankle sprain. Seeing that the initial worry was a fracture, Rubio owners should count themselves lucky that he will be out only until New Year's Day. If this were last year, Mo Williams would have been the obvious pickup. But with the Timberwolves in developmental mode, Zach LaVine becomes an interesting speculative pickup in deeper leagues.
Marcus Smart, PG, Boston Celtics: Out two to three weeks with a left ankle sprain and a bone bruise. Just be happy the MRI came back negative. If Rajon Rondo is traded, Smart still has the ability to make a marked fantasy impact this season. Until then, Avery Bradley's value should see a slight uptick.
Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls: Day-to-day with a pair of sprained ankles. I stopped trying to predict Rose's fantasy prognosis a year ago. Coming into 2014-15, I was hoping fantasy owners would temper expectations and draft with their heads. But as soon as Rose put up that 30-point game late in the preseason, I knew his ADP would irrationally rise (clocking in at 22.8).
Rose should return this week, but his situation goes beyond this week. It goes way beyond fantasy. Don’t approach Rose as a fantasy basketball enthusiast. Approach him as a basketball fan with an appreciation for his talents. Take the long view. Hope he makes it through a season and about 60 to 65 games. Hope he can deal with extended minutes and get back above 30 MPG. And then hope he puts up late first- to second-round value.
I can't recommend trading away or trading for Rose. As basketball fans, all we can do is pull for the guy and hope he puts it all back together. As for fantasy, if Rose is shelved, look for Aaron Brooks to put together consistent value. Over the past calendar year, Brooks has shown he can put up career-resuscitating box scores given the minutes.
Nicolas Batum, SF, Portland Trail Blazers: Day-to-day with a right knee contusion sustained when he banged knees with Robin Lopez. I'm a big Batum backer this season, and the shots of him being helped into the locker room were disquieting. Thankfully, the MRI was relatively clean. He may miss a game or two, which could mean more minutes for Dorell Wright. In the meantime, count yourself lucky and hope Batum uses the downtime to smooth out his shot (.367 FG% this season).
Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors: Day-to-day with a sprained right hand. When you're shooting .507 for the season (and .458 from downtown) and you suddenly start shooting (3-for-16 against the Rockets) like Thabo Sefolosha (.217 FG% in 2014-15), something's off key. Thompson has vowed to be back on the court for Tuesday's tilt versus the Spurs. Just keep an eye on his shooting percentage; these are the kinds of injuries that can linger.
Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers: Day-to-day with a bruised left knee. This happened Saturday night against the Wizards, when Hibbert banged knees with Solomon Hill while setting a pick. This ruined two opportunities: another nice bounce-back night for Hibbert (9.34 Player Rater points) and another chance for Hibbert to attempt a game-winning 3-pointer (like he chucked Wednesday). The Pacers' haunted season continues, but Hibbert dodged a bullet. He could be back for tonight's game versus the Jazz. If he isn't, shield your eyes and look for a time-share between Ian Mahinmi and Luis Scola.
Ty Lawson, PG, Denver Nuggets: Returned Sunday after missing a game with an ankle injury. Lawson appeared to be his old, productive self (18 points, 8 assists) after getting a game off. You drafted Lawson knowing he was going to miss 10 to 15 games due to injury, which is also the reason why I never draft him.
Amir Johnson, PF/C, Toronto Raptors: Day-to-day with a sore left ankle. Another chronic injury candidate but a worthy endgame gamble (as opposed to the midround pick you spent on Lawson). I was all over Johnson in my drafts, hoping he could overcome past injury issues and start posting the double-double and 1.5 blocks that should be well within his reach.
But it's his ankle -- again -- and I'm starting to wonder if Johnson will stay on the court long enough to fully realize his statistical potential. He showed during last season's playoffs that he can play and produce through pain. But this is turning into a Nene-type situation, albeit with a soundtrack provided by The Tragically Hip.
Chandler Parsons, SF, Dallas Mavericks: Day-to-day with a respiratory infection. Mrs. Cregan worries more about Parsons' health than mine. Thankfully, I was able to explain that his pulchritude and shot volume should be only momentarily affected by the illness.
Anthony Bennett, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves: Day-to-day with a sore knee.
Dion Waiters, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers: Day-to-day with a lower back contusion. If you're sweating missing out on Waiters, you have deeper fantasy issues. Expect his minutes to be yanked all around the yard as David Blatt tries to put together a cohesive rotation.
Perry Jones, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder: Day-to-day with a right knee contusion. The fact that I'm dissecting a Jones injury shows what kind of season the Thunder have had. Lance Thomas hasn't exactly inspired as Jones' replacement. There's still a window for about three to four weeks of solid production for Jones before Kevin Durant comes back in December.