It’s a loaded NBA slate Wednesday and that means a loaded injury report. The Dallas Mavericks have already ruled Luka Doncic out of the team’s contest against the Lakers, while LeBron James is officially probable to play. Big men Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid are officially questionable to take part in Wednesday’s action. Here’s a look at the full injury report for the day.
NBA Injury Report, December 15th
Lakers vs. Mavericks
Anthony Davis (knee), Playing
Update — Davis will play in Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks. James is also available to play after being listed as probable. Ellington will still be an OK play with Reeves since Malik Monk is out. Howard’s absence opens up Jordan still, though DJ would have been a great value had AD been ruled out, which isn’t the case.
Fantasy impact — With AD on track to play, there will still be value on the Lakers given Malik Monk and Dwight Howard are out in COVID protocols. With Monk out, Wayne Ellington ($3,200) and Austin Reeves ($3,300) are candidates to see more minutes off the bench. With Howard out, DeAndre Jordan ($3,100) will have to play more as a backup big.
Davis has not dressed in the team’s last two games. The first absence was understandable as it was the second game of a back-to-back set. Sunday’s DNP was a little more worrisome, although this could be a load management situation for the big man. With LeBron James back, the Lakers can afford to be more cautious with their prized power forward.
Other injuries: LeBron James (abdominal), IN; Luka Doncic (ankle), OUT; Dwight Howard, Malik Monk (COVID protocols), OUT
Heat vs. 76ers
Joel Embiid (ribs), Playing
Update — Embiid and Curry are both listed as starters prior to tip-off against the Heat and will be available to play tonight. This makes guys like Maxey, Milton and Drummond less appealing plays in DFS on the DraftKings slate. Embiid becomes an interesting GPP pivot given his ownership may be down a bit with this news breaking a half hour before lock.
tonight's starting five:— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 15, 2021
Update — Embiid went through shootaround on Wednesday morning and that’s a good sign he’ll be able to play tonight vs. the Heat. He’s officially being ruled as a game-time decision.
Embiid is consistently on the injury report as questionable, only to suit up for the game. He did have an absence Monday, so there’s a chance the 76ers are being more cautious than usual with this injury. Ben Simmons is still nowhere to be seen, so Philadelphia’s hopes rest on Embiid being healthy.
Seth Curry (shoulder), game-time decision
The Sixers shooter is being viewed as a game-time decision against the Heat. Curry is officially listed as day-to-day with his shoulder injury, so it could just be a lingering issue which flares up from time to time.
Furkan Korkmax (illness), OUT
Update - Korkmax is out with a non-COVID illness.
Korkmax has been added to the injury report as questionable to play due to an illness. It is said to be non-COVID related, though Georges Niang has been placed in health and safety protocols.
Jimmy Butler (tailbone), OUT; Tyler Herro (quad) Out
Update — Along with Butler, the Heat have ruled Herro out for tonight’s game vs. the Sixers.
Fantasy impact — With Herro out, we can roll out Gabe Vincent ($4,500) and Duncan Robinson ($4,400) as great tournament values. Kyle Lowry ($8,100) is the lone star left for Miami at this point and we’ve got some narrative with him in his hometown of Philly. All three are considerations for GPPs. Dewayne Dedmon would be an OK option at $5,100 is Embiid were to sit.
Butler has been out for a while now. He’s having some nagging issues and had an injury earlier in the year as well. Herro has been put on the injury report many times this year but he’s only missed one game so he’s likely to play against the Sixers.
Timberwolves vs. Nuggets
Will Barton (illness) IN; Aaron Gordon (back) IN
Update - Both Barton and Gordon will be in, which is great news for the Nuggets as they hope to climb back up the standings in the West.
The Nuggets have slowly been sliding down the standings as the absences of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. start to have an impact. Barton and Gordon returning will help Denver remain competitive around Nikola Jokic, although these players won’t move the needle much when it comes to futures bets and odds.
D’Angelo Russell (ankle), In
Update- Russell will start for the Timberwolves against the Nuggets Wednesday. Russell went through Wednesday’s shootaround, so he was already trending towards playing.
Russell did play in Sunday’s game against the Trail Blazers, so this is likely a bit of gamesmanship. The point guard is likely going to take the floor in Wednesday’s contest.
Hawks vs. Magic
Mo Bamba (ankle) OUT; E’Twaun Moore (knee) OUT, Gary Harris (hamstring) OUT
Update - Bamba is officially out for Wednesday’s game against the Hawks.
Bamba was originally listed as available to play before being officially deemed questionable, so he’s likely going to take the floor in this game.
Rockets vs. Cavaliers
Update — Eric Gordon (groin) is going to sit tonight vs. the Cavs and return on Thursday. Kevin Porter Jr. and Danuel House remain out.
Christian Wood (knee), OUT
Update - Wood is expected to miss the next two games with a knee injury. The Rockets are really hurting right now, with four key players out for Wednesday’s game.
Wood has been Houston’s most productive player and the Rockets are likely to entertain trade discussions around him, so his continued presence on the court is important. Houston is going nowhere this season and Wood has been the team’s lone bright spot.
Evan Mobley (hip), Out
Update — The ROTY frontrunner will not play tonight vs. the Rockets. This could be a big night for Jarrett Allen ($8,300). Dean Wade ($3,700) will start in place of Mobley. He’ll be a trendy value play, but who knows how many minutes he’ll see. The Rockets are shorthanded, so the competitiveness of the game may not be there. Lauri Markkanen ($5,100) is pretty cheap and likely won’t be in many lineups in tournaments. If anything, no Mobley makes things interesting for someone like Alperen Sengun ($4,500) with only Jarrett at center for Cleveland. Kenyon Martin Jr. ($3,600) also feels like a GPP option.
The Cavaliers big man is +150 to win Rookie of the Year after starting out well behind Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green. Mobley looks like a star in the making on both ends of the floor and has been instrumental in Cleveland’s rise this year.
Other injuries: Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh) OUT, Eric Gordon (groin) OUT, Danuel House (ankle) OUT
Clippers vs. Jazz
Paul George (elbow), OUT
Update - George has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Jazz.
The Clippers star has been sidelined for three games now and is officially questionable against the Jazz. George has been carrying LA in Kawhi Leonard’s absence but it’s tough to see the team sustaining this winning streak against Utah without him.
Other injuries: Nicolas Batum (ankle), questionable
Pacers vs. Bucks
Khris Middleton (knee), Out
Update — Middleton has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Pacers. With Middleton and Giannis out, the Bucks will lean on Jrue Holiday ($7,500) and Bobby Portis ($7,100), both of whom are good GPP plays on DK. Pat Connaughton ($5,000) and Grayson Allen ($4,000) would be the other options if you wanted to stack the Bucks. It’s not a bad strategy with the top two producers out.
The Bucks guard is dealing with a knee issue and that isn’t the only problem Milwaukee has. Giannis Antetokounmpo has entered the league’s health and safety protocols, so Middleton sitting out would be even more damaging. The guard has his own bout with COVID earlier in the year but now is trying to get past a knee problem.
Other injuries: Giannis Antetokounmpo (protocols) OUT, Wesley Matthews (protocols) OUT
Wizards vs. Kings
Kyle Kuzma (protocols), CLEARED
Update - Kuzma is playing Wednesday against the Kings.
In a rare occurence over the last few days, a player has actually come out of protocols instead of going in. Kuzma has been cleared, meaning he was likely deemed a close contact and didn’t have a positive test himself. The Wizards forward should be good to play against the Kings.
Marvin Bagley (protocols), OUT
Bagley had been playing well back in the rotation for the Kings, so this news is pretty notable for the slate. With Bagley out, it’s an upgrade for Harrison Barnes ($5,600) in tournaments. Barnes missed time due to injury and has struggled since, but earlier in the season his price was up in the mid-$7K range. A return to the norm with more usage and minutes makes sense. Chimezie Metu ($3,200) is likely to see an uptick in minutes with Bagley out. Alen Len ($3,200) and Tristan Thompson ($3,100) become punt plays for GPPs.
Other injuries: Terence Davis (protocols), OUT