The NBA season continues Monday with seven games on tap. There are plenty of intriguing matchups on the schedule but the most important development might be some stars coming back from the league’s health and safety protocols. Here’s a look at Monday’s injury report in the association.
NBA injury report, December 27th
Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks
Lonzo Ball (protocols) OUT
Alex Caruso (foot) OUT
Alfonzo McKinnie (protocols) OUT
Tony Bradley (protocols) OUT
Derrick Jones Jr. (protocols) OUT
Update — The Bulls ruled a bunch of players out prior to tonight’s game vs. the Hawks. Ball and Caruso are the most notable. McKinnie was just signed to a long-term deal from a hardship contract. He joins Bradley and Airplane Mode as rotation guys who won’t play.
Coby White ($4,100) chalk busted big time against the Pacers on Sunday night. We’ll probably go back to the well anyway since we’re a glutton for punishment in NBA DFS. White did play 33 minutes in a game the Bulls controlled for the most part, which is encouraging.
It’s a weird salary gap for the Bulls. You have LaVine ($9,600), DeRozan ($9,200) and Vucevic ($9,000) all above $9K and then no other player sniffs $5K. Javonte Green ($3,700) doesn’t have much of a ceiling but should return value. He and White are the most likely to get 25-30 minutes in a good matchup.
Ball got put in protocols Sunday, so he’s unlikely to be cleared in time for this game. The Bulls have seen basically every player hit the protocols at some point this month, so the team has already adjusted to having roster shortages.
Trae Young (protocols) Will Play
Kevin Huerter (protocols) OUT
John Collins (protocols) OUT
Jalen Johnson (protocols) OUT
Delon Wright (protocols) OUT
Danilo Gallinari (protocols) OUT
Lou Williams (protocols) OUT
Update — Trae is back in the lineup against the Bulls tonight. Young hasn’t played since Dec. 17 after being placed into health and safety protocols. It’s not the best matchup in the world, but Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso are out for Chicago. So firing up Young in GPPs seems like a good narrative play. The rest of the Hawks players in protocols will remain out. It’s only Young returning from that group.
Update — Young has registered one negative test result today and only needs a second in order to clear protocols, per The Athletic. We’ll keep an eye on Trae’s status but it appears there’s a chance he could be back tonight. If that’s the case, the betting lines are where you’ll want to go to try and catch any value. That includes player props, particularly ones in which the player would lose value with Young back. Look at some of the under totals.
Young should be approaching the tail end of his isolation period, while Huerter could still be a few days away. Collins and Johnson got put in the protocols Sunday, so both are likely out for this game.
Houston Rockets vs. Charlotte Hornets
Jalen Green (injury management) Active but unlikely to play
Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh) Active but unlikely to play
Jae’Sean Tate (protocols) OUT
Kenyon Martin Jr. (protocols) OUT
Update — Christian Wood ($8,200) is going to be a popular GPP play on DK with Tate and Martin out now. Alperen Sengun ($5,400) is also a great all-around play. Armoni Brooks ($4,300) is sort of interesting but more volatile. We’ve seen Josh Christopher ($3,700) put together solid games and he should play around 20 minutes against Charlotte.
Green and Porter Jr. aren’t going to move the needle for casual fans, but both players are value adds in fantasy and DFS formats. Green is also one to watch in the Rookie of the Year race, as he could make up some ground with other players ahead of him in protocols.
Miles Bridges (protocols) OUT
PJ Washington (protocols) OUT
Cody Martin (protocols) OUT
All three players got put in the protocols Sunday, so it seems unlikely for them to hit the floor in Monday’s game. Look for Jaden McDaniels, James Bouknight and Kelly Oubre to see boosts in DFS formats with Bridges and Washington out.
Boston Celtics vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jayson Tatum (protocols) OUT
Dennis Schroder (protocols) OUT
Josh Richardson (protocols) OUT
Al Horford (protocols) Will Play
Marcus Smart (hand) OUT
Grant Williams (protocols) Available to play
Update — Horford and Grant Williams won’t have their minutes limited tonight vs. the T-Wolves. Smart remains sidelined with that hand issue. Payton Pritchard is going to start in place of Smart.
Tatum will not play after being placed into health and safety protocols on Monday morning. The Celtics injury report is lengthy still with plenty of players in H&S protocols and dealing with injuries. As a result, Jaylen Brown ($9,300) is going to be a popular tournament option on DraftKings.
D’Angelo Russell (protocols) OUT
Karl-Anthony Towns (protocols) OUT
Anthony Edwards (protocols) OUT
Patrick Beverley (conditioning) OUT
Josh Okogie (conditioning) Available
Edwards should be nearing the end of his isolation period, while Russell and Towns are likely out for this game. The Timberwolves have a big outbreak on their hands, so there’s no telling who will actually be available for this contest outside of the three notable names.
Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs
Donovan Mitchell (back) OUT
Mitchell did not travel with the Jazz as he deals with a lower back strain. He’s out for the next two games, but this doesn’t appear to be a long-term injury.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns
Dillon Brooks (protocols) OUT
Brooks, who has been one of the best players in the league in recent weeks, got put in the league’s protocols Sunday. In his absence, look for Desmond Bane to take on a bigger role in this offense.
Deandre Ayton (protocols) OUT
Elfrid Payton (protocols) Will Play
Jae Crowder and Abdel Nader are also going to miss tonight’s game vs. the Grizzlies. Suns coach Monty Williams was also placed into health and safety protocols on Monday. Ayton being out is big for the slate. JaVale McGee ($4,500) chalk night commences. Cam Johnson ($4,600) is also a great value option for tournaments.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Luka Doncic (ankle, protocols) OUT
Kristaps Porzingis (toe) Questionable
Doncic has been dealing with an ankle injury but is also in COVID protocols. His status is likely trending towards out. Porzingis has played through his toe issue so while he’s expected to be listed as questionable, the big man is likely to play.
Damian Lillard (personal) Available
CJ McCollum (lung) OUT
Jusuf Nurkic (protocols) OUT
Robert Covington (protocols) OUT
Dennis Smith Jr. (protocols) OUT
Update — Lillard is available to play tonight vs. the Mavericks.
Nurkic entered protocols late Sunday so he’s probably out. Lillard has a personal matter and is questionable. McCollum said recently his collapsed lung has fully healed, so the question now will be his conditioning and stamina. The Trail Blazers are flirting with playoff contention, so having McCollum back will be a big boost once he’s 100 percent.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Kevin Durant (protocols) OUT
LaMarcus Aldridge (protocols) OUT
Kyrie Irving (protocols) OUT
Durant and Aldridge have already been ruled out, and there’s a good chance Irving won’t clear the protocols due to his unvaccinated status. James Harden and company got a big win on Christmas Day with fringe personnel, so look at Patty Mills and Nic Claxton as potential value plays in DFS formats.
Paul George (elbow) OUT
Nicolas Batum (ankle) OUT
Reggie Jackson (protocols) OUT
Marcus Morris (conditioning) Will Start
Update — Morris is back in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Nets.
The Clippers will be without three starters against the Nets, which will be difficult to overcome. Morris has a shot to return and could be a nice boost to the rotation. Most of the Clippers roster is affordable on DraftKings with no player over $6K as of now. Bledsoe ($6,000) and Terance Mann ($5,800) will be the primary ball-handlers. Luke Kennard ($5,700) also isn’t a bad mid-range option.