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De’Aaron Fox, Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine headline NBA injury report for Sunday, Dec. 26

We take a look at the NBA injury report for Sunday, December 26th and break down all the latest news for fantasy basketball.

Sacramento Kings v Toronto Raptors
De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings passes the ball off against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of their basketball game at the Scotiabank Arena on December 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

There are eight NBA games to follow up the league’s Christmas Day slate, headlined by a Central Division clash between the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls on NBA TV. With eight games comes another fairly lengthy injury report, headlined by the league’s COVID protocols. Here’s a look at Sunday’s injury report.

NBA injury report, December 26th

Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls

Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles), OUT
Domantas Sabonis (calf), AVAILABLE
Jeremy Lamb (wrist) OUT

Update — Brogdon and Lamb have been ruled out, while Sabonis is in for this game. Holiday and Brissett are good value plays as mentioned below, but look for Chris Duarte to have a big game here with more looks on the perimeter.

Update — Lamb is being listed on the injury report with a wrist issue and may not play. Lamb’s absence would be a boost for some of the players listed below. Holiday ($4,000) and Brissett ($4,100) are your cheap options. If Brogdon, Sabonis and Lamb all sit, LeVert is a good tourney play at $8,800.

Brogdon and Sabonis didn’t suit up in Indiana’s last game, and the Pacers are unlikely to risk either player if there’s even a remote chance of an aggravated injury. Brogdon is a big part of Indiana’s future plans, while Sabonis is the team’s biggest trade chip.

With Sabonis out, Myles Turner had a HUGE night against the Rockets last game with 32 points and 10 boards. Jeremy Lamb played well off the bench and could see more minutes as a result. Oshae Brissett and Justin Holiday didn’t do much, but both played 30+ minutes as starters. Keep an eye on all three, plus Chris Duarte and Caris LeVert if Brogdon and Sabonis sit again.

Zach LaVine (protocols) AVAILABLE
Ayo Dosunmo (protocols) AVAILABLE
Alex Caruso (foot) OUT
Lonzo Ball (protocols) OUT

Update - Both LaVine and Dosunmu are available to play, as expected.

Update — The Bulls placed Ball into H&S protocols on Sunday, per Woj. So Ball isn’t going to play against the Pacers. That opens up Coby White ($4,300) to be a very chalky DFS option. Ayo ($4,000) is also viable if he’s the one coming off the bench. DeRozan ($9,600) is your top GPP play for the Bulls.

LaVine is expected to play, as is Dosunmu. The Bulls are starting to get their players back, and that’s bad news for the rest of the conference.

Chicago pulled off two wins in a row after having games postponed due to players in H&S protocols. DeMar DeRozan is back and killing it again. Then, the Bulls-Raptors game got pushed back. LaVine and Ayo should rejoin the rotation in a normal capacity. Caruso may end up missing this game. If that’s the case, Coby White should be the primary backup guard. LaVine will start and resume his role as a go-to scorer. This likely means the end of Devon Dotson in the rotation. Those minutes will go to Dosunmu. Same goes for Alfonzo McKinnie, you’ve got to think he won’t be needed nearly as much.

Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat

Kyle Lowry (protocols) OUT
Dewayne Dedmon (knee) OUT
Jimmy Butler (tailbone) AVAILABLE
PJ Tucker (leg) OUT

Update - Butler, who has been out for a while, will start Sunday’s game for the Heat.

Update — So Butler was looking like he wouldn’t be able to return, but is on track to play. That’ll be a big boost for Miami with Lowry out. Tucker is also out along with Dedmon, so there’s a big void in the front court. Yurtseven and KZ Okpala will be solid fantasy basketball options, though the game begins at 3:30 p.m. ET and is off the main slate.

Lowry went into the protocols, joining Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler on the sidelines. Butler is considered day-to-day with his tailbone injury but he’s unlikely to play at this point.

Injuries have forced a handful of players to step up for the Heat and they’ve risen to the task. Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Omer Yurtseven are going to have to keep it going with Lowry out. All three will be popular plays on the Sunday slate, but are likely to be priced up. They’ll still be very viable in GPPs.

Cole Anthony (ankle) OUT
Wendell Carter Jr. (leg) AVAILABLE

Update - Carter Jr. will start Sunday for the Magic.

Update — Anthony has been ruled out vs. the Heat this afternoon. We’re still awaiting word on WCJ.

Anthony and Carter are listed as questionable, but seem unlikely to play based on recent designations.

Let’s go over each in terms of NBA DFS on DraftKings. If Anthony sits, is it Tim Frazier chalk time? He would likely start at PG, though Gary Harris is the more logical play. If WCJ is out, we can fire up Franz Wagner in tourneys some more. Admiral Schofield is an interesting value as well if Carter sits. The former Vol played 25 minutes in a close game vs. the Pelicans recently.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Detroit Pistons

Dejounte Murray (protocols) OUT
Doug McDermott (dental) available

The Spurs announced Murray was placed into H&S protocols on Sunday and won’t play tonight vs. the Pistons. That means Derrick White is chalk at $6,500 on DK. Lonnie Walker ($4,300) and Doug McDermott ($3,900) are decent value options while Keldon Johnson ($5,800) should see more looks on offense.

Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Fred VanVleet (protocols) OUT
OG Anunoby (protocols) OUT
Pascal Siakam (protocols) OUT
Scottie Barnes (protocols) OUT

The Raptors have placed their four best players in the league’s protocols, and will be playing with only four guys from the main roster. It’s a rough situation right now for Toronto. The Raptors have had their past two games postponed due to lack of players. They’re expected to be OK for Sunday vs. Cleveland, but it isn’t going to be pretty.

Evan Mobley (protocols) OUT
Jarrett Allen (protocols) OUT

The Cavaliers could have some problems on the interior if Mobley and Allen cannot come back soon. Cleveland struggled last game without the two bigs, losing to the Boston Celtics. Robert Williams killed the Cavs in the paint. Kevin Love and Cedi Osman were decent in terms of fantasy basketball, just playing minutes in the front court they probably should be playing.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards

Tyrese Maxey (protocols) AVAILABLE

Update - Maxey has cleared protocols and will start for Philadelphia.

Maxey is in the protocols and is officially questionable to play. Joel Embiid is not on the injury report, which is a good sign for the 76ers.

Bradley Beal (protocols) OUT

Beal is in the protocols and is unvaccinated, so he’s likely out for this game unless he was deemed a close contact and tests out.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Sacramento Kings

De’Aaron Fox (protocols) AVAILABLE
Marvin Bagley (protocols) AVAILABLE

Update - Both Fox and Bagley will play Sunday and neither will have any restrictions.

Bagley is expected to play and Fox is questionable, so the Kings look to be getting past their COVID issues.

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Aaron Gordon (hamstring) OUT

Update - Gordon has officially been ruled out Sunday.

Update - Gordon has been downgraded again to doubtful, suggesting he had some issues in warmups or earlier in the day which contributed to more pain in his hamstring. The Nuggets will attempt to replace him with some combination of players, although Denver has a roster problem at the moment with injuries and COVID-19.

Update - Gordon has been downgraded to questionable for Sunday’s game.

Gordon is probable to play. The forward hasn’t worked out as planned for the Nuggets, although he was not expected to be put in as the second scoring option with the injuries around him.

Paul George (elbow) OUT 3-4 WEEKS

This is a huge blow for the Clippers, who are already without Kawhi Leonard. George has been the team’s best player on both ends of the floor and will be sorely missed over the next month.