DeMarcus Cousins Suffers Achilles Injury
DeMarcus Cousins tore his left Achilles during the closing seconds of Friday’s win over the Rockets, and he will miss the remainder of the season. There is simply no positive spin to this awful news, as Achilles tears tend to be career-altering injuries (see: Kobe Bryant, Wesley Matthews, Brandon Jennings, Elton Brand, Patrick Ewing, etc.), and to make matters worse Boogie is going to be a free agent this summer. Cousins is expected to undergo surgery as soon as possible to begin the rehab process, after which we’ll have an official timetable, but Adrian Wojnarowski reported that he’s expected to be hit with a 6-10 month timeline. Obviously, there’s no reason to hang onto Cousins in re-draft leagues, and you could make the case for cutting him in keeper leagues (if his draft position or auction price next season will be high) with no IR-spot as it looks like there’s a chance he could miss the first few months of the 2018-19 season; I wouldn’t cut him in a Dynasty League, though.
In terms of fantasy hoops, I don’t think there’s really an obvious pick up here. Dante Cunningham will likely move back into the starting lineup, but increased minutes does not correlate with an increase in fantasy value for the irrelevant four-man. Omer Asik and Cheik Diallo should be able to get more minutes in the rotation, but I don’t see either of those guys churning out much value. Basically, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday will soak up most of his 32.3 usage rate, E’Twaun Moore and Darius Miller will see some more touches and perhaps Rajon Rondo will be able to operate with the rock in his hands more often. Miller has the potential to carve out some additional value with a larger role in the offense, but I suspect consistency will be an issue, rendering him more of a deep league player. I could see the Pelicans bringing in a few players on 10-day deals to try and fill the void, or making a trade to try and stay relevant in the playoff hunt (they currently sit on the No. 6 seed out West), but there’s obviously no easy way to replace a superstar talent like Boogie. Terrible.
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On the Radar
Troy Daniels started at shooting guard with Devin Booker shifting over to the point on Friday, draining three more triples on his way to 11 points and one assist in 23 minutes. Daniels has been lighting it up from beyond the arc over the past couple weeks with averages of 14.2 points, 4.2 trey-bombs and just 0.8 turnovers per game on 52.3% shooting, which has been good enough for seventh-round value in 9-cat leagues. He doesn’t bring much to the stat sheet aside from points and triples, but he’s worth a look if you need some help in those categories.
Greg Monroe hauled in 10 boards in the blowout loss to the Knicks, adding seven points, one assist and three turnovers through 26 minutes as a starter. It’s not the most impressive stat line, but he’s now been in the rotation for three straight games in what looks like a move to up his value on the trade market, and he’s responded with averages of 14.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steal and 3.7 turnovers per contest on 67.9% shooting from the field and 66.7% from the stripe. I only see two options in Monroe’s future, a trade or a buyout, and if he can land in the right situation he could easily be a mid-round guy. He’s one of the better trade deadline stashes out there.
Darius Miller hit a career-high six triples in 29 minutes off the bench, to go with 20 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and three turnovers. He’s been trending up over the past four games with averages of 12.5 points, 3.3 treys, 5.0 boards, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.3 turnovers per game on 43.2% shooting, and he should have some more shots coming his way with Boogie Cousins done for the year. As previously stated, I think consistency will be an issue for Miller, and he doesn’t do much for you with regards to the defensive statistics, so I wouldn’t cut anyone with long-term upside to nab him.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went 8-of-14 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line on his way to 19 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and zero turnovers in 30 minutes. He’s been trending up over the past few weeks with averages of 13.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 steals and just 0.8 turnovers per contest on 55.4% shooting, so give him a look if those numbers are appealing.
J.R. Smith had a nice bounce-back performance on Friday following Tuesday’s scoreless outing, popping off for 23 points, seven triples, four steals and one turnover in 37 minutes. Dwyane Wade (personal) could miss a handful of games moving forward, so Smith should have more minutes and shots coming his way. He’s been too inconsistent this season for this one game to warrant a pickup in 12-team leagues with just 13 roster spots, but he’s on the radar as a potential add in deep leagues if you’ve got someone to cut.
Tristan Thompson had a 10-point, 10-board double-double in the win, to go with one assist, one steal and one turnover in 31 minutes. He’s basically just a FG% booster and low-end source of boards in deep leagues.
Bobby Portis scored 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with nine rebounds, one assist, two 3-pointers and one turnover in 22 minutes off the bench. If the Bulls move both Nikola Mirotic and Robin Lopez at the deadline without bringing another big back, Portis could potentially be looking at a 30+ minute role in Chicago, so I’d recommend stashing him in most leagues. While an imperfect stat, his per-36 numbers of 21.6 points, 10.8 boards, 2.9 dimes and 1.6 triples gives us a glimpse of his potential.
Denzel Valentine came through with a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double in Friday’s loss to the Lakers, adding four assists, four 3-pointers, one block and two turnovers in 30 minutes off the bench. He’s seen some increased opportunity over the past four with Kris Dunn (concussion) unavailable, posting averages of 10.0 points, 2.5 triples, 4.8 boards, 4.3 dimes, 1.0 steal, 0.5 blocks and 2.0 turnovers per contest on 41.2% shooting, so he has some deep league appeal.
Jarrett Allen scored 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with six rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 20 minutes off the bench. He’s seen at least 20 minutes of floor time over the past two games and has responded with averages of 12.0 points, 8.5 boards and 1.0 block per game on 71.4% shooting from the field and 50.0% from the stripe. He could have some more minutes coming his way if Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) needs to miss time, and it would make sense for Brooklyn to turn him loose at some point, so he’s got some stash appeal in deep leagues.
Joe Harris started the second half for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) and finished with 11 points, three 3-pointers, three rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes. He’s been flirting with top 100 value for a month now with averages of 12.7 points, 2.3 treys, 3.7 boards, 1.1 dimes and 1.1 turnovers per game on 55.8% shooting, and he could have more minutes coming his way if RHJ needs to miss time.
John Henson scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting (2-of-3 from the line) to go with 10 rebounds, five assists, one block and two turnovers in 28 minutes. He’s not the most exciting guy to own, but he’s a reliable source of boards and blocks.
Milos Teodosic scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting to go with three 3-pointers, one rebound, four assists and one turnover in 28 minutes. While he typically doesn’t bring many defensive stats to the box score, his averages of 11.6 points, 5.1 assists, 2.6 triples and 2.3 turnovers per game on 46.0% shooting over the past few weeks make him worth rostering in most leagues.
Jarell Martin started with JaMychal Green (ankle) and Chandler Parsons (knee) unavailable, going 8-of-11 from the field and 1-of-1 from the charity stripe on his way to 17 points, six rebounds, one assist and three turnovers in 24 minutes. He’s been playing well for the banged-up Grizzlies over the past few weeks, flirting with late-round value behind averages of 12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.8 triples, 0.7 blocks and 1.5 turnovers per game on 55.6% shooting.
Mario Chalmers made the most of some increased opportunity with both Mike Conley (Achilles) and Tyreke Evans (illness) out on Friday, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting (3-of-4 from the line) to go with 10 assists, four rebounds, two 3-pointers, one steal, two blocks and three turnovers in 33 minutes off the bench. He’s been providing some low-end value over the past few weeks with averages of 9.7 points, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game on 39.1% shooting, so he’s worth a look in deep leagues.
Dillon Brooks netted 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with one 3-pointer, three rebounds, two assist and two turnovers in 35 minutes off the bench. He’s seen his minutes spike to the 30s over the past few weeks with Memphis desperate for healthy bodies and has responded with averages of 14.3 points, 4.4 boards, 1.4 assists, 2.0 triples, 1.1 steals and 2.0 turnovers per game on 55.2% shooting.
Ed Davis was nearly perfect during Friday’s 107-93 win over Dallas, going 6-of-7 from the field and 3-of-3 from the stripe on his way to 15 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, three blocks and two turnovers in 28 minutes off the bench. He’s been riding a hot streak over the past four, posting averages of 10.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 blocks and just 1.0 turnover per game on 71.4% shooting from the field and 78.6% from the stripe in 24.4 minutes a night. These numbers don’t seem sustainable, but he’s worth a speculative add in deep leagues while he’s playing this well.
Allen Iver… er… Trey Burke produced another 18-point game in just 18 minutes off the bench in Friday’s win over the Suns, adding two 3-pointers, three assists, one rebound and two turnovers. I’m still a bit skeptical that his solid play over the past two can develop into a trend, but he’s on the radar after posting averages of 18.0 points, 7.0 assists and 1.0 trey over his past two outings.
Josh Jackson scored 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting (3-of-4 from the stripe) to go with one 3-pointer, eight rebounds, two steals and zero turnovers in 30 minutes off the bench. He typically doesn’t bring much in the way of defensive statistics, and his shooting percentages can be annoying, but he’s a guy with some solid post-break potential as one of the primary building blocks in Phoenix. He’s more of a deep league stash in category-based formats, but he’s nearly must-own in points leagues.
Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t appear to be bothered at all by his sore knee in his return from a two-game absence on Friday, scoring 41 points on 14-of-20 shooting (10-of-11 from the line) to go with 13 rebounds, seven assists, three 3-pointers, two steals, two swats and just one turnover in 33 minutes. He should be fine for Sunday’s game in Chicago.
Nikola Vucevic (hand) hopes to be cleared for full contact work soon, and he’s on track to make it back right around the All-Star break. Make sure he’s not floating around on your waiver wire.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson exited Friday’s game with a right groin strain and did not return. He was able to limp off the court under his own power, but groin injuries can be tricky, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him miss at least a few games here. I’d expect RHJ’s minutes to be divvied up between Joe Harris, DeMarre Carroll, Jarrett Allen and Allen Crabbe.
Paul Millsap (wrist) has ramped up his on-court work significantly and is currently working on his conditioning and range of motion. He should be back shortly after the All-Star break and is worth stashing in most leagues at this point.
Tyreke Evans (illness) missed his second game in a row on Friday, but he should be able to get back out there for Monday’s game against the Suns. Ben McLemore (knee), JaMychal Green (ankle) and Jarell Martin (knee, ankle) also sat out Friday’s game, and they should be considered questionable for Monday.
Myles Turner (elbow) was a full participant in both Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, although he did not suit up for Friday’s game against the Cavs. I suspect some of that had to do with it being the first game of a back-to-back set, and I’d say he has a decent shot of getting back out there for Saturday’s game against the Magic. Domantas Sabonis’ value will take a fairly significant hit once Turner gets back out there.
T.J. Leaf (ankle) did not play Friday and he should be considered questionable for Saturday’s game.
Darren Collison (personal) returned from a one-game absence on Friday, finishing with 19 points, seven dimes, two boards, three triples, six steals, one block and two turnovers in 36 minutes. He’ll be fine for Saturday.
Marquese Chriss (hip) did not look great in his return from a six-game absence, going 1-of-12 from the field and 0-of-2 from the charity stripe on his way to three points, four rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist, one steal and one block in 20 minutes. Chriss had finally been playing well prior to going down, but overall, it’s been a disastrous season for him and it looks like it could take him a bit to really get going again. With how bumpy the road has been, I wouldn’t blame you for cutting him.
Dwyane Wade (personal) did not play Friday, and the Cavs GM Koby Altman said that he can take as much time as he needs as he attends to a personal family matter, suggesting he could miss multiple games. J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver and Derrick Rose figure to split most of his minutes.
Al Horford (head) got up some shots at Friday’s practice and said he expects to play Saturday vs. the Warriors.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (rest) was back in action following a one-game absence on Friday, scoring 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go with seven boards, four assists, one 3-pointer, two steals, one block and zero turnovers in 35 minutes. He did briefly go to the locker room after Devin Booker sent him to the floor with a hard foul and he appeared to knock his noggin, but he played through it, and with the Knicks off until Tuesday I wouldn’t expect it to be an issue that forces him to the sidelines.
Kyle O’Quinn (calf) returned from a two-game stint on the sidelines, finishing with four points, five boards, one assist, one steal, three swats and two turnovers in 17 minutes off the bench. He’s just a low-end, shot-blocking specialist in deep leagues.
Tyler Johnson (ankle) is questionable to play Saturday vs. the Hornets. He nearly played on Thursday and has looked great while getting in his pregame work, so I’d expect him to get back out there on Saturday. His return will push Derrick Jones Jr. back to the second unit, and Justise Winslow’s minutes could take a hit.
An MRI revealed a deep bone bruise in Willie Cauley-Stein’s right knee and he will spend at least the next two games on the sidelines. I’d expect Zach Randolph and Skal Labissiere to pick up the majority of his minutes.
Kris Dunn (concussion) is still dealing with headaches and he remains out indefinitely. Not good. The Bulls aren’t going to mess with this, as they shouldn’t, and it’s unclear exactly when he’ll be able to return to the court. There’s really no set timetable with a concussion, in the past we’ve seen guys miss just one game, or like we saw with Carlos Delfino back 2011, he was required to spend 2.5 months on the sidelines with a severe concussion. Delfino is the worst concussion case we’ve seen in recent memory, and it needs to be noted that that sort of lengthy absence isn’t the norm, but the main takeaway is that Dunn doesn’t seem close and there’s really no telling when he’ll be able to get back. Jerian Grant will continue to start in his absence, but he’s too inconsistent to trust in most 12-team leagues. Dunn is far too good to cut, so owners will just need to exercise some patience here.
Lonzo Ball (knee) is doubtful to play Sunday vs. the Raptors. Jordan Clarkson is the primary beneficiary here, and Alex Caruso is on the deep league radar. Tyler Ennis will start, but he hasn’t done much of anything as a starter lately.
Danilo Gallinari (hip) said he could return to the court on Tuesday vs. the Trail Blazers. He’ll assuredly be eased back into things after spending over a month on the sidelines, but he’s got a decent amount of upside and the Clippers sure could use his offense, so I think he’s worth stashing in most leagues at this point.
Malcolm Brogdon (sore right calf) did not play Friday and he should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game in Chicago. Tony Snell started in his place, but only managed to finish with seven points, one rebound, one assist and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes.
Reggie Jackson (ankle) has shed his walking boot and he could start going through some on-court work in 2-3 weeks. He’s still not close and belongs on the waiver wire in most leagues.
Reggie Bullock (thumb) is questionable to play Saturday vs. the Thunder.
Alex Len (ankle) missed his second game in a row on Friday and considering he’s still not practicing, he should be considered doubtful for Sunday’s game in Houston. Greg Monroe is the primary beneficiary here.
T.J. McConnell (personal) returned from a one-game absence, recording five points, four assists, three rebounds, one steal and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes off the bench.
Evan Turner (personal) did not play Friday, but he’s expected to return to the team on Sunday, meaning he should be fine for Tuesday’s game against the Clippers.
Guerschon Yabusele will miss the next two games due to a sprained ankle, which means nothing as he’s not a part of the rotation anyway.
Tyler Lydon underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday and he’s expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Joakim Noah (upset he’s not playing) will miss an “undetermined amount of time” as he takes a leave of absence from the Knicks. Over the next three years, the Knicks will be awarding him roughly $55.6 million; how’s that goink?