Halfway through the year, many a star around the NBA is starting to feel the effects of an 82-game season. Rajon Rondo certainly headlined all injury news this week with a devastating ACL tear but plenty of other stars are causing fantasy owners to do some serious lineup re-shuffling. Let’s take a look at the latest slew of injuries around the NBA and some guys that can pick up the slack in the meantime.
Rajon Rondo (knee): Rondo is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL but is expected to be ready by next season’s training camp. Avery Bradley will serve as the starting point guard for the time being but Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, and Leandro Barbosa will all get extra minutes and opportunities going forward.
Kyle Lowry (back): Kyle Lowry’s injury-addled year continues as he missed Monday’s game against the Warriors. Lowry has already been playing limited minutes and his stock has plummeted since the beginning of the season and Jose Calderon is looking like a good pick up right now – especially with plenty of rumors about Lowry being traded soon (possibly to the Celts).
Chris Paul (knee): Paul has missed four straight games with a bone bruise in his knee and the Clippers aren’t going to rush him back to the court. There is no timetable set for his return meaning Eric Bledsoe will continue to get the starts in the Clips backcourt.
Tim Duncan (knee): Duncan has missed four of the Spurs’ last five games with a sore knee but the injury doesn’t seem too serious. As with Paul, the Spurs aren’t going to rush the 36-year-old Duncan back to action so he may miss more time before the team is confident he is fully healed.
Stephen Curry (ankle): Curry left Monday’s game against the Raptors with a sprained ankle, the same ankle he sprained earlier this month. The injury doesn’t appear serious but Marc Jackson may opt to keep him out a game or two before putting him back out there. If Curry does miss time, Jarrett Jack would be the biggest beneficiary.
Wilson Chandler (groin): Chandler, who has missed most of the season with various injuries, missed Monday’s game against the Pacers with a strained groin. He is considered questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Rockets. He has played fairly well in limited time but injuries continue to wreck any possibility of fantasy relevance.
Gordon Hayward (shoulder): Hayward sat out Monday’s game against the Rockets with a shoulder injury but is expected to return sometime this week. The Jazz have four games this week so it’s hard to tell when he will be back or how serious the injury is but with 14 PPG over his last five, Hayward is definitely becoming a relevant fantasy option.
Mike Conley (ankle): Conley missed Monday’s game against the 76ers with a sprained ankle and is questionable for Thursday’s game against the Thunder. If he misses more time, Jerryd Bayless will get more time and opportunities and is worth a pick up for sure.
JaVale McGee (shin): McGee missed Monday’s game against the Pacers with an “irritated shin bone” but will undergo an MRI Tuesday to determine the extent of his injury. McGee has been playing less than 20 MPG for the most part anyway but his injury does open up even more time for Kosta Koufos.
Nikola Pekovic (quad): Pek has missed four straight games with a sore quadriceps but is aiming to return this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday’s game against the Clippers.
Andrew Bynum (knee): Bynum appears to be recovering pretty well from his various knee ailments and the team expects him back some time in February. The team will likely set a more exact timeline as once they ease him into more demanding practices next week.