The 76ers have been supremely cautious with Simmons since he fractured his right foot in late September, and while the No. 1 overall pick has since resumed running, jumping and cutting, he's yet to receive clearance for contact. Brown indicated that he doesn't expect Simmons to take part in any five-on-five work over the All-Star break, and with the coach previously indicating that the rookie would need to take part in five full-contact, full-court sessions before he'd have the chance to play in games, it appears safe to conclude that at the very least, Simmons is a few weeks away from playing. This report is nonetheless encouraging after recent news seemed to suggest that Simmons wouldn't make his debut in 2016-17, but with the season coming to a close in mid-April, it seems likely that he won't be able to play more than a handful of games in a best-case scenario.
Ingram provided half of the team's made three-pointers in the loss as the other guards on the team could not find a way to connect from outside. After taking over the starting role Monday from Luol Deng, Ingram has back-to-back double-digit performances, which is definitely a step in the right direction for the rookie. Look for Ingram to try and get a firm grip on the starting position for years to come over the remainder of this season.
The rookie sustained a strained right hip Saturday in Utah, limiting him to just 12 minutes of action while making another start at shooting guard. Boston has not released an official return timeline, but as of Monday morning the expectation is that Brown will sit out Monday (at Dallas). Wednesday (vs. Philadelphia) and Thursday (at Chicago) leading up to the All-Star break. The Celtics are then off until Feb. 24, when they return to action against the Raptors in Toronto.
This ends up being pretty good news for the rookie forward, as earlier reports feared that Bender missing the remainder of the season was a real possibility. The timetable given would mean that Bender would have a chance to return in early-to-mid March, but given the Suns' playoff hopes are a long shot, they likely won't be in any rush to bring their rookie back. Fellow rookie Marquese Chriss could potentially be pushed into even more minutes at the power forward position in Bender's absence, but the big the big man being out shouldn't have too drastic of an impact on the team's rotation.
Dunn hadn't played in any of the Timberwolves' previous four games while nursing a sore right hand, but he slotted back into his usual backup role behind starting point guard Ricky Rubio on Friday. With Rubio taking on a full workload, there was only sparse time left over for Dunn, but the rookie doesn't figure to see a substantial enough of a boost in playing time over the games to come to make much of a splash in season-long formats. Prior to missing time with the injury, Dunn had averaged 2.2 points, 3.2 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game in his last five outings.
Hield looked great in this young player showcase, but he has looked overmatched at times during the regular season. He is averaging just 8.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in eight February games, making him worth using only in deeper redraft fantasy leagues. The rookie remains a must-have in long-term keeper formats, however.
Murray secured MVP honors in the game, as his sensational February continues. He is averaging 12.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in nine games in February, taking advantage of the injury to Emmanuel Mudiay (back). When Mudiay is healthy then Murray is likely to see his minutes cut, and his fantasy appeal decrease.
Chriss impressively exploded for his season high in points in just 24 minutes of action. This marks two 20-point outings for the rookie in the last four games. But those games were sandwiched in between two games in which he went a combined 4-of-21 from the field, showing that consistency isn't quite there yet. Still, Chriss is trending upward and should continue to get better as the season goes along.
Poeltl has started the last two games for the Raptors, but hasn't been very impressive, so coach Dwane Casey has opted to change the starting five. Instead of Poeltl, the Raptors will go small, with Norman Powell joining the top unit on the wing. Poeltl should see a decrease in minutes with the demotion and once newly acquired Serge Ibaka is available, Poeltl's role stands to take another hit, so his value should continue to decline following the All-Star break.
With Jabari Parker (knee) out for the remainder of the year, the Bucks will been forced to make severe adjustments to their rotation. Coach Jason Kidd has decided to start Maker in Parker's first absence, adding a lengthy three-point threat to the Bucks starting five. Maker has shown ability to put up solid numbers when given rotational minutes, providing 12 points, five rebounds, three blocks, one steal, and one assist across 24 minutes Feb. 1 against the Jazz.
Sabonis appeared to be taking a big step forward with a season-best three-game streak of 10 or more points, but he really stunk up the joint in Wednesday's loss. He remains useful only in deeper fantasy formats until he starts to show a little more consistency with his shot.
Prince has earned exactly 25 minutes in consecutive contests, which is his career high. He has now played 20 minutes or more on four occasions this season, but Prince is unlikely to make much of an impact in fantasy unless the Hawks become sellers at the trade deadline and open up more regular playing time.
The 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft has not been a factor at the NBA level this season, appearing in just two games and logging nine total minutes.
Valentine had a successful, three-game stint with the Windy City Bulls during which he posted averages of 30.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists. The rookie's next chance to play for Chicago will come Monday, though he hasn't appeared in an NBA game since Jan. 20.
To be sure, the Nuggets were ice-cold shooters in this game, but it appears Hernangomez will continue to be a mystery for players. Although his tantalizing 27-point showing on Monday against Golden State had us thinking he may have made a case for more time, Wednesday's game left Nuggets fans wondering when thy might see Kenneth Faried (ankle) or Danilo Gallinari (groin) back on the court. The All-Star break will provide a much-needed respite for the plethora of injured Nuggets, so for those who scrambled to the waiver wire to snag Hernangomez after his 3-point parade, you may have to wait a while for a similar performance.
Surprise of the draft. He played in France this season and appears to have very high potential. Nobody expected Yabusele to be selected this high but the draft rarely turns out to be nearly identical to mock drafts. This is the draft of high risk and high reward, this fits the profile. He shot 43% from downtown, which was an issue that needed to be addressed. He looks like a tank.
The rookie out of Vanderbilt has split the season between the Grizzlies and the D-League and is averaging 12.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists through 21 contests for the Iowa Energy.
Ellenson was a first-round pick in 2016, but he's been unable to crack the Pistons' rotation, and the team appears content to treat 2016-17 as a developmental year for the Marquette product.
Beasley put up seven points in six minutes during garbage time of Wednesday's 20-point loss to the Grizzlies, but as expected, that performance didn't put him under consideration to enter the rotation in a competitive contest Friday. With the Nuggets at full health in the backcourt, Beasley could to the D-League if he fails to see the floor in any of the next several contests.
LeVert was held out of the Nets' last two games due to soreness in his left knee, but the team appears confident enough in his status to keep him off the injury report. He'll likely return to his role as a rotational player off the bench if he plays.
Bembry matched his career high in assists despite playing single-digit minutes for the second straight game. Bembry was averaging 20.0 minutes per game over the first six games of February, but it appears that the rookie's role is not consistent enough to warrant attention in most fantasy formats.
Though the 20-year-old has only appeared in 22 games this season, averaging 9.0 minutes per contest, his presence has been increasingly needed as of late due to a myriad of injuries plaguing the Kings' roster. In his absence, Ben McLemore, Garrett Temple (hamstring) and Matt Barnes will likely take on extra minutes, but it's unclear at this time if one player will absorb most of the work or if it will be spread out among the remaining guys. The effect of Richardson's absence will also be lessened once Omri Casspi (foot) and Arron Afflalo (hamstring) return from their respective injuries.
Zizic fills the immediate need for the Celtics as they need a big center who has the ability to block shots and rebound. The Celtics fans were seen booing the draft pick, but they most likely know little about him. He's extremely tough, and has a very high motor, both very positive signs in a seven footer.
Luwawu-Cabarrot received his first-career start as Robert Covington (hand) was sidelined, but wasn't able to do a lot despite receiving 23 minutes, his second-highest total of the season. If Covington is unable to go Thursday against the Spurs, look for Luwawu-Cabarrot to receive more minutes than normal once again.
The team must want to get him back this season, and are going to take a less invasive approach to start. He was going to fight for minutes during his rookie season anyway, behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan frontcourt starters and veteran Marreese Speights as the primary option off the bench.
Korkmaz was the first round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers this year, and it was not clear when he would eventually join the NBA squad. He was previously with Anadolu Efes, the first pro team he played for.
New Mexico State
With Patrick Patterson (knee) unavailable, Siakam filled in on the top unit, and while he didn't make much of an impact in the box score, he helped make the Raptors better when he was on the court. The rookie's plus-15 rating was tops among all players on the team, and the fact that the Raptors were able to come away with a victory might be enough to earn Siakam another start if Patrick remains out again Monday against the Clippers. Even if that's the case, Siakam's fantasy ceiling isn't much higher than what he provided Sunday, so he'll largely remain worth avoiding in mos season-long and DFS formats.
The Kings were down to only 10 available players Friday with four players sitting out with injuries and Georgios Papagiannis on a D-League assignment, but there still wasn't any room in the rotation for Labissiere. The rookie has only made six appearances on the season, averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 7.0 minutes per game.
Both Murray and Bryn Forbes will return from the Austin Spurs in advance of Saturday's matchup with the Nuggets. Murray has shown flashes of his considerable potential when given opportunities at the NBA level this season, but the Spurs have been mostly content to allow the Washington product to use his rookie season as a developmental year. Over San Antonio's last four games, Murray has played a total of just eight minutes.
Jones was able to pick up some run in the fourth quarter with the Warriors on the wrong end of a blowout, but that's about the only occasions that coach Steve Kerr is willing to use him. The rookie has moved up to third on the depth chart at center with both Zaza Pachulia (shoulder) and David West (thumb) sidelined for the last several games, which means he'll be held out of the rotation more often than not.