Fantasy 30: Trade rumors and injury buzz

Will fantasy managers see Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic return from injury prior to the All-Star break? AP Photo/John Raoux

Injury updates and trade rumors dot the landscape this week as we approach All-Star weekend in the NBA, but it's the potential return of Orlando's key big man that has everyone's attention.

Here's a look at the most fantasy relevant news and notes for all 30 teams around the league:

Atlanta Hawks: According to a report this week by Yahoo! Sports, the Hawks have made everyone available in the days leading up to Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline. It would be surprising to see Dennis Schroder moved, given the type of season he has had, but reportedly even the improved point guard can be had for the right offer. Be aware of this if you have any Hawks on your squad and plan accordingly.

Boston Celtics: Marcus Morris has battled a hip injury recently, costing him two games last week, and the arrival of Greg Monroe means Morris' minutes could diminish once Monroe joins the rotation. That being said, you have to pay attention to what Morris is doing lately, putting up 14.0 PPG and 4.8 RPG during his past eight games. He's currently on less than 15 percent of rosters in ESPN leagues.

Brooklyn Nets: The scorers on the Nets such as D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris will have an even greater opportunity to fill it up on Wednesday against the Pistons, as Brooklyn continues to be without Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) while also losing Caris LeVert (concussion) for this game. It's unclear if either player will be available on Saturday when the Nets host New Orleans, but their absences directly impact those players mentioned above.

Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets acquired Willy Hernangomez in a trade with the Knicks on Wednesday, giving them a young center who can battle for playing time with Cody Zeller behind Dwight Howard. Charlotte will likely use him a lot more than New York did this season (9.0 MPG in 26 games played) but it's unlikely that the 23-year-old plays more than 15.0 MPG on his new team, given the log jam in front of him.

Chicago Bulls: While Kris Dunn remains in concussion protocol and is without a timetable for a return after missing the past eight games, Zach LaVine is starting to blossom, as he works his way back from knee surgery. LaVine has scored 21 points or more during each of his past three games and surpassed the 30-minute mark in each of his past two contests. Through 11 games with the Bulls, the 22-year-old has made 2.0 3PG and added 1.0 SPG while averaging 15.6 PPG. The best is yet to come.

Cleveland Cavaliers: While Jae Crowder remains on more than 28 percent of rosters in ESPN leagues, he doesn't carry much fantasy value even with the bump in minutes following the Kevin Love injury. During the past five games, Crowder has averaged 26.2 MPG but contributed only 8.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG and less than one assist, steal and block per game. Keep him on the waiver wire for now.

Dallas Mavericks: Harrison Barnes (ankle) went through a full practice on Wednesday, which is a positive indication that he'll likely be available to play in Thursday's game at Golden State despite being listed as questionable. One of the more durable wings in the league since his arrival in 2012, Barnes played in 78 or more games in four of his first five seasons leading up to this one. If he plays against the Warriors, look for Dwight Powell to head back to the bench.

Denver Nuggets: Big news out of Denver on Wednesday, as Nuggets coach Mike Malone announced that star power forward Paul Millsap (wrist) will be out until March. Any hopes of Millsap -- out since Nov. 19 -- returning later this month are now out the window, as early-to-mid March looks to be more of the timeline. Trey Lyles is the player whose fantasy value will take the biggest hit once Millsap returns in around a month.

Detroit Pistons: Entering Wednesday, the Pistons have five games remaining before the All-Star break, then don't play again until Feb. 23. With Reggie Jackson (ankle) expected to be just about ready by then, that means the days of Ish Smith starting at point guard and having meaningful fantasy value are numbered. Think about that if you have Smith on your roster.

Golden State Warriors: The Warriors look emotionally exhausted in recent weeks, playing poorly even in games they've won, like the matchup against the Kings. Even the Splash Bros have been impacted; during the past five games, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have combined to shoot only 37 percent (30-of-81) from 3-point range.

Houston Rockets: Trevor Ariza has missed the past four games due to a hamstring injury and is expected to miss at least one more -- the final game of the team's current four-game road trip -- Wednesday night in Miami. While Ariza is out, Gerald Green is a widely available streaming option worth considering if you need points or 3-pointers. The veteran swingman has scored at least 15 points and drained at least three 3-pointers in each of his past three games.

Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner has played in only 39 of Indiana's 55 games this season, and his lack of durability coupled with ineffectiveness and inconsistency have dropped him out of the top 50 in my roto fantasy rankings. Few envisioned the rising big man to average just 13.5 PPG and 6.5 RPG as he has this season, and trading him now in fantasy definitely means selling low.

LA Clippers: The surprising three-year extension for Lou Williams doesn't shed a ton of light on what the Clippers will do with the rest of the roster leading up to the trade deadline, but it does mean Williams isn't going anywhere. Considering how well he's played in his first season under Doc Rivers, you have to consider that a good thing. On the down side, Williams has made just 16.1 percent (5-of-31) of his 3-pointers during his past four games.

Los Angeles Lakers: It's looking unlikely that Lonzo Ball will be back from a sprained knee before the All-Star break, which means more opportunity for Josh Hart to run the point. The 30th pick of the 2017 NBA draft out of Villanova, Hart has registered three consecutive points/assists double-doubles while also providing at least two 3-pointers and one steal in each of those games. He's only on 7.7 percent of ESPN league rosters too.

Memphis Grizzlies: Tyreke Evans has been shut down until the trade deadline passes, with the Grizzlies not willing to risk injury to one of their prime trade chips. Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Boston, Denver and New Orleans are the teams rumored to be interested in dealing for the NBA's oft-injured 2010 Rookie of the Year.

Miami Heat: Hassan Whiteside's rebounding numbers remain strong despite playing only 24.8 MPG during his past nine games. The problem is his other numbers have fallen off, particularly his shot-blocking (1.1 BPG during that stretch). When Whiteside isn't providing as much scoring or as much shot-blocking as is currently the case, he is relegated to being an efficient shooter who excels at rebounding. His fantasy value is trending down at this time.

Milwaukee Bucks: After a long layoff, Jabari Parker is going to take some time to get back into game shape. No surprise here. He ramped up his minutes from 15 to 17 to 20 during his first three games, making 50 percent of his shots along the way, but his 11 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 0.7 APG are a reminder that he has a long ways to go before being a force in fantasy again.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Scoring is the main part of Andrew Wiggins' game (along with a little bit of contribution as a rebounder), but his lack of impact in other ways prevents Wiggins from being a top-75 fantasy player in roto leagues. Lately, the scoring has even tailed off -- he has averaged 15.2 PPG and made only 42.5 percent of his shots during the past five games.

New Orleans Pelicans: If you were holding on to Rajon Rondo with the hope that his numbers might actually improve without DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup, you have been disappointed in the recent results. During his past five games, Rondo has shot just 38.6 percent while averaging 8.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 6.0 APG and 1.4 SPG. He's not a player you have to hold on to at this point in the season.

New York Knicks: The Knicks' frontcourt is decimated at the moment due to the season-ending knee injury to Kristaps Porzingis, the trade of Hernangomez to the Hornets and the mouth injury to Enes Kanter. Kanter had to have his mouth re-stitched on Wednesday and may not be available to play in Thursday's game against the Raptors. In any case, expect Kyle O'Quinn and Michael Beasley to take on bigger roles going forward, barring another deal before Thursday's trade deadline.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Keep tabs on the health of Carmelo Anthony in the games leading up to the break. Anthony left Tuesday's game against Golden State after playing only six minutes, and while he is not listed on the injury report for Thursday's game against the Lakers, there's a good chance the bothersome ankle could limit the 15-year pro once again. If his minutes are limited, it would not be surprising.

Orlando Magic: Nikola Vucevic (hand) is nearing a return, and it could happen as soon as Thursday. Vucevic has been upgraded to questionable for the game against the Hawks after putting in time on the practice court for more than two weeks. Once Vucevic is back, Bismack Biyombo goes back to being a streaming option whenever you need blocks and rebounds.

Philadelphia 76ers: Has there ever been a player who shoots as efficiently as Ben Simmons, who has the reputation of being a non-shooter? It's hard to think of one. The rookie point-forward is shooting 52.9 percent on the season, helped in part by a blistering 10-game stretch during which he has made 60.3 percent of his shots. Say what you want about his lack of perimeter game, he knows what he does well and he doesn't drift away from it.

Phoenix Suns: Wednesday's game against the Spurs is another big opportunity for Tyler Ulis, as Devin Booker (ribs) has been ruled out for a second consecutive game. Ulis had 8 points and 7 assists in 30 minutes during Tuesday's loss to the Lakers, and that's about what you can expect out of him in fantasy while Booker is sidelined. You can also expect TJ Warren and Josh Jackson to benefit the most as scorers without Booker.

Portland Trail Blazers: After sitting out Monday against Detroit, Evan Turner (calf) is considered questionable for Thursday's game against Charlotte. If he cannot go, Maurice Harkless will take on a bigger role, as he did against the Pistons, logging 24 minutes but finishing with only six points and zero rebounds. Even without Turner, Harkless isn't a safe fantasy option.

Sacramento Kings: De'Aaron Fox (ankle) participated in non-contact drills during Wednesday's practice. His status for Friday against the Trail Blazers remains up in the air, and if he cannot go, it will fall to George Hill to run the point (unless Hill is dealt before the deadline). Keep tabs on this.

San Antonio Spurs: Dejounte Murray swiped a lot of steals earlier in the season before taking over as the starting point guard, but lately he has been a complete non-factor in that department with zero steals during his past four games. Murray has made up for it in other ways, however, such as on the glass, where he has pulled down 9.6 RPG during his past five games. He's an intriguing talent going forward this season and beyond.

Toronto Raptors: During the past 14 days, Jakob Poeltl has played eight games and averaged 2.0 BPG during that span. A secondary scorer and rebounder, Poeltl is worth a look if you're hoping to stream for blocks throughout the week. He has at least two rejections during four of his past five games.

Utah Jazz: During the past 14 days, only four players have made more 3-pointers per game than Utah's Joe Ingles (3.7). Ingles has become more of a 3-point presence in each of his four NBA seasons, and after making 1.5 3PG and a 44.1 3FG% last season, he has managed to improve upon those numbers this season with 2.4 3PG and 45.1 3FG%. Couple that with his passing ability, and you have one of the game's most underappreciated fantasy players.

Washington Wizards: Everyone looks at Bradley Beal whenever John Wall is out of the lineup as he is right now, but you need to also pay attention to Otto Porter Jr. Porter has seen his shot attempts jump to 13.2 per game during his past five contests and his scoring rise to 18.2 PPG in that span. These are big improvements for a talented player who tends to get overshadowed when Wall and Beal are both on the court.