There are only six games on Wednesday’s NBA slate but that doesn’t mean fans and bettors aren’t looking for some of the league’s biggest stars to get back on the court. Zach LaVine, Trae Young and Giannis Antetokounmpo are among the handful of players in COVID protocols and one could argue that trio represents the future of the sport. Here’s a look at the full injury report for Wednesday’s schedule.
UPDATE — The Bulls-Raptors game scheduled for tonight has been postponed due to Toronto not having enough players to field a team.
NBA injury report, December 22nd
Trae Young (protocols), OUT
Clint Capela (protocols), OUT
Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) AVAILABLE
Kevin Huerter (protocols), OUT
Update — Bogdanovic will make his return to the court Wednesday after being out with an ankle injury. For an Atlanta team struggling with COVID, this will be a big boost. Bogdanovic will have his minutes restricted in his return.
Update —Huerter has entered the league’s health and safety protocols as well, so he’s out for Wednesday’s game. The Hawks are in real danger of having their Thursday and Christmas Day games postponed.
The Hawks have a lot of COVID issues, with Young being the biggest name in the protocols. Atlanta has a Christmas Day game against the Knicks, which looks to be in real danger now with the team’s health situation. Fortunately, Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic is likely to make his return to the court after dealing with an ankle injury.
Cole Anthony (ankle), OUT
Wendell Carter Jr. (leg), OUT
Update - Both Anthony and Carter have been ruled out for Wednesday’s game.
Both Anthony and Carter are questionable to play with their respective ailments. These are two players the Magic would like to see in their rotation long term, so getting them as many minutes as possible now to evaluate them is crucial.
Other injuries: Danilo Gallinari (protocols), OUT
Evan Mobley (protocols), OUT
Jarrett Allen (protocols, OUT
Isaac Okoro (protocols), OUT
Denzel Valentine (protocols), Will Play
Kevin Love (foot), Will Play
Update — Love is available to play.
Mobley, the frontrunner to win Rookie of the Year per DraftKings Sportsbook, is in the league’s protocols. The Cavaliers have also been hit hard with the COVID spike, so this could be a place to stack the Celtics in DFS.
Zach LaVine (protocols), Doubtful
Alex Caruso (foot), OUT
Update - Caruso is expected to miss 7-10 days with his foot injury.
LaVine is doubtful, which means there’s a chance he could test out of the protocols tomorrow. Caruso, one of the team’s offseason acquisitions, is officially out with a foot injury.
Fred VanVleet (protocols), OUT
Scottie Barnes (protocols), OUT
The Raptors have seven players in the COVID protocols, but VanVleet and Barnes are the two big names. It’s been a tough season in Toronto, but these two are part of the future there.
Other injuries: Precious Achiuwa (protocols), OUT; Malachi Flynn (protocols), OUT; Ayo Dosunmu (protocols), Doubtful
Christian Wood (knee), AVAILABLE
Update - Wood will play Wednesday against the Bucks.
Wood has been dealing with a knee injury but is likely to suit up after playing in the team’s last two contests.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (protocols), OUT
Khris Middleton (knee), Will Play
The Bucks do get Khris Middleton back after the guard dealt with a knee injury but the big question is with Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak has been in COVID protocols for a minute now, so it’s tough to say exactly what the deal is with him. The Bucks do have a Christmas game and the league definitely wants Antetokounmpo back for that game.
Aaron Gordon (hamstring), Will Play
Update — Gordon is going to be available to play in tonight’s game vs. the Thunder. JaMychal Green (ankle, knee) is also available for Denver.
Gordon is dealing with a hamstring injury but should be good to go for the Nuggets. Denver is still missing its two stars Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., so this team could get significantly better if both come back this season.
De’Aaron Fox (protocols), OUT
Davion Mitchell (protocols), OUT
Marvin Bagley (protocols), OUT
Richaun Holmes (eye), AVAILABLE
Update - Holmes will play Wednesday for the Kings.
The Kings have been a mess this year and now three key pieces of the puzzle are in COVID protocols. Sacramento is likely going to blow this thing up, so every game is a huge evaluation opportunity for the front office. Fox is the key name to watch in trade talks as the calendar year ends.
Reggie Jackson (protocols), OUT
Luke Kennard (hip), OUT
The Clippers placed Jackson into the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Wednesday and it’s unlikely he’ll play tonight vs. the Kings. Kennard is also out but not in protocols; he has a hip issue. Jackson’s price has risen all the way up to $8,100 on DraftKings for tonight’s slate. With no Jackson, Terance Mann ($5,600) and Eric Bledsoe ($4,800) will start in the back court and are good mid-range plays. Bledsoe is the most interesting value play at this point.