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LeBron James, Giannis, Trae Young headline NBA injury report for Christmas Day

We take a look at the NBA injury report for Saturday, December 25th and break down all the latest news for fantasy basketball.

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game at the STAPLES Center on December 21, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

We’ve made it to NBA Christmas Day! It doesn’t really feel like the same holiday cheer, however. There are so many question marks heading into the 5-game slate on Saturday throughout the day. Players continue to be placed in health and safety protocols. We’ll see if a few key players can clear in order to return for the festivities. Below is the full injury report for Christmas Day.

NBA injury report, Christmas Day

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks

Trae Young (protocols) OUT
Kevin Huerter (protocols) TBD
Clint Capela (protocols) Will Play
Danilo Gallinari (protocols TBD
Cam Reddish (ankle) Will Play
Onyeka Okungwu (protocols) OUT
Delon Wright (ankle) Will Play

Update — Capela cleared protocols and is able to play on X-Mas vs. the Knicks. Reddish is going to play as well while Okungwu was unable to clear protocols in time to play. Cap is a strong play on the slate since not as many lineups will be on him. The Hawks will also still be missing plenty of regulars, so they could go with a tight rotation this afternoon.

The Hawks should get Reddish for this game and they’ll readily welcome him if he can go. Young, Huerter and Capela are sidelined with COVID issues, which is a huge dent in the team’s starting lineup. The two guards have been officially ruled out, and it doesn’t like Capela will be able to go either. The Hawks have a total of nine players in the league’s protocols.

Miles McBride (protocols) OUT
Derrick Rose (ankle) OUT
RJ Barrett (conditioning) Game-time decision
Danuel House (finger) Available
Obi Toppin (conditioning) OUT
Kevin Knox (conditioning) OUT
Immanuel Quickley (conditioning) OUT

Update — Barrett is a game-time call while Immanuel Quickley (conditioning) will not play against the Hawks. Quentin Grimes is also a game-time decision after coming off the COVID list while Kevin Knox (conditioning) is out along with Quickley. Kemba Walker will stick in the starting lineup.

Rose is done for at least eight weeks. Noel and McBride look like they’ll be out Saturday but the Knicks did get some good news with RJ Barrett and Obi Toppin back in the mix. Barrett missed Thursday’s game due to rest, so his conditioning will be something to monitor for the Knicks. The Duke product is officially listed as questionable.

Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Josh Richardson (protocols) OUT
Grant Williams (protocols) OUT
Enes Freedom (protocols) OUT
Romeo Langford (protocols) AVAILABLE
Marcus Smart (hip) AVAILABLE
Aaron Nesmith (protocols) OUT
Al Horford (protocols) OUT
Dennis Schroder (protocols) OUT

Update — Smart is in, Langford is in and Horford is out for Boston. This likely won’t move the line much, but the Celtics at least get two key rotation players into the lineup.

Update — The Celtics announced Schroder has been placed into health and safety protocols and won’t play today vs. the Bucks. Smart remains a GTD while Horford, Jabari Parker and Juancho Hernangomez are questionable.

Update — Smart is officially a game-time decision for Boston.

Boston has some COVID issues, but the players sidelined are rotation guys rather than the team’s superstars. Williams and Freedom do make the Celtics vulnerable in the frontcourt, while Richardson is a competent perimeter player on both ends of the floor. Smart would be a big loss if he doesn’t play through his hip injury, especially on defense.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (conditioning) AVAILABLE
Bobby Portis (protocols), expected to clear protocols
Wes Matthews (protocols) TBD
Donte DiVincenzo (protocols) Will Play

Update — It’s official. Antetokounmpo will play Saturday against the Celtics.

Update — Both Antetokounmpo and Portis remain on track to play in Saturday’s contest.

Update — DiVincenzo went through shootaround this morning and is available to make his season debut today, truly a Christmas miracle!

The big question is whether Antetokounmpo will be able to play in this game. The Finals MVP is done with his quarantine period on Christmas Day and has cleared the league’s protocols, but his conditioning is now the question. Portis and Matthews are rotation players but the Bucks have dealt with absences well so far this season and should be okay for this game as well. The former is expected to clear protocols for Saturday’s game.

Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns

Andrew Wiggins (protocols) OUT
Jordan Poole (protocols) OUT
Andre Iguodala (knee) OUT
Damion Lee (protocols) OUT
Moses Moody (protocos) OUT

Update - Iguodala has been ruled out for Saturday’s game. The rest of Golden State’s inactives are due to COVID protocols.

Wiggins and Poole are starters in Golden State’s championship-caliber rotation, while Lee is a useful rotation guy. It doesn’t seem like any player will be ready for this game, which means the Warriors will be undermanned against a Suns team at full strength.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Kevin Durant (protocols) OUT
LaMarcus Aldridge (protocols) OUT
Cam Thomas (protocols) OUT
Kyrie Irving (protocols) OUT

The Nets did get James Harden back for Christmas Day, so that’s a positive. However, it doesn’t look like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving will be back for the showcase game against the Lakers. The Nets have seen a huge chunk of their rotation out with the COVID outbreak but at least they get one star back out of three.

LeBron James (abdominal) AVAILABLE
Malik Monk (protocols) AVAILABLE
Avery Bradley (protocols) AVAILABLE
Austin Reaves (protocols) OUT
Kent Bazemore (protocols) OUT
Trevor Ariza (protocols) TBD

Update — Monk and Bradley have cleared protocols and are available to play tonight vs. the Nets.

James is going to play, as he’s suited up in every game since his return despite this designation. Monk, Reaves and Bradley are rotation players the Lakers would like to have but they can survive without them. The big loss will be Davis, who is out with a MCL injury.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz

Luka Doncic (protocols) OUT
Kristaps Porzingis (toe) AVAILABLE
Maxi Kleber (protocols) TBD
Tim Hardaway Jr. (protocols) TBD
Dorian Finney-Smith (illness), OUT

Update - Finney-Smith is out for the Mavericks, but Porzingis is in. It looks like Hardaway Jr. and Kleber have not cleared protocols at this point.

Doncic is listed as out, which is a massive setback for the Mavericks. Porzingis is questionable to play with a toe injury and if he’s ruled out, Dallas will be severely shorthanded in this contest. This could be a rough showing against a strong Utah team if both stars sit out.