Here are the latest news, notes and roster observations from around the NBA as we head into Tuesday's five-game slate.
Oklahoma City will soon be at full strength, barring any setbacks. According to Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook took part in some of practice on Tuesday and while they have been ruled out for Wednesday, a Friday return is not out of the question. Your time is running out to trade Reggie Jackson ...
In the latest case of how crazy fantasy hoops can be, a potential season-ending shoulder injury to Eric Gordon means more minutes and potential value for Austin Rivers. The often-forgotten 2012 lottery pick won't start -- the Pelicans have opted to use Tyreke Evans at the 2 and Darius Miller at the 3 for Tuesday's game against Sacramento -- but you can count on him to see a healthy share of minutes as long as Gordon is out. Still, for those asking about Rivers' fantasy value, it's probably better to consider all other options first; Rivers has low assist rates, still struggles to score and doesn't attempt enough 3s to be much of a factor from beyond the arc.
The time is now for Derrick Rose to prove that he can stay healthy. Rose's nagging injuries and constant "questionable" status from game to game have frustrated plenty of fantasy owners already this season, but with Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau now publicly calling for Rose to play more frequently, it appears the team may be less willing to let its star point guard play it safe by continually sitting out games. Another injury in the coming games and it might be time for fantasy owners to simply cut Rose and move on because trading him will be virtually impossible.
Brandon Jennings (sprained left thumb) says he can't shoot, per Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News, and he is not expected to play on Tuesday. If that's the case, the opportunity is there for D.J. Augustin to start and have a big game against Milwaukee.
Rudy Gay (right Achilles tendinitis) has been ruled out for Tuesday's game against New Orleans. That could open the door for a rare start by Derrick Williams, the former No. 2 overall pick in 2011 who has shown flashes of his potential lately. Meanwhile, Darren Collison (quad contusion) is questionable and Ramon Sessions (right knee strain) is probable for the game against the Pelicans.
Norris Cole (dislocated finger) has been upgraded to probable for Tuesday's game against Golden State, while Dwyane Wade (hamstring) has been ruled out. Look for Cole, Mario Chalmers and Shabazz Napier to carry the load in the backcourt. That being said, as ESPN Insider Tom Haberstroh pointed out in The Crossover, the Heat have found the most success in Wade's prolonged absence with Napier running the point and Chalmers playing the 2. We'll see if that's how the minutes shake out tonight.
Andrew Bogut (right orbital contusion) is officially questionable to play against the Heat tonight, but the indications are that he will. Bogut took part in shootaround this morning and it's a good thing any time the Warriors have their high basketball IQ big man available. As Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out on Monday, the Warriors' dynamic offense isn't nearly the same without Bogut as a centerpiece.
News to know: Carmelo Anthony (back spasms) didn't practice on Tuesday and is considered doubtful for Wednesday's game against Dallas. ... Denver SG Randy Foye will miss three weeks due to a right quad tear, according to Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post. This could open the door for more minutes for rookie first-rounder Gary Harris, though one can never be certain of anything when it pertains to the Nuggets rotation under coach Brian Shaw ... Washington PF Nene is listed as questionable for Tuesday vs. Atlanta, but CSNwashington.com reports that he will not play against the Hawks and could miss more time due to ongoing issues with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Look for Kris Humphries to be a solid power forward option until Nene returns and for Bradley Beal to possibly slide into the starting lineup after easing his way back into the rotation from a fractured wrist. As Wizards reporter Kyle Weidie points out, the team can no longer afford to start Garrett Temple over Beal. ... JaVale McGee is out for tonight's game against Chicago due to soreness in his left tibia, which is concerning because it's the same leg that cost him all but five games last season. According to Dempsey, McGee is expect to miss another couple of games. This means the Nuggets will have to rely more heavily on Timofey Mozgov and perhaps rookie first-rounder Jusuf Nurkic at the center spot. ... Kevin Martin had surgery on his fractured right wrist on Tuesday, and is expected to be out six to eight weeks.