NBA player injuries become tricky to track at this time of the season because some teams will start finding random reasons to bench their star players so they can position themselves better in the NBA Draft Lottery and preserve them for the future. As other teams clinch their playoff spots, they may look to rest some of their players a bit down the stretch so they can be healthy for the NBA postseason.
The Charlotte Hornets aren’t going anywhere, and LaMelo Ball just fractured his ankle and it would be shocking to see him back on the court this season. Here are some of the other player injuries from around the NBA.
2023 NBA Injury Report Fantasy Basketball Week 20
NBA Point Guard Injury News
Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors (Leg)
Curry's return to action is coming up in the next few games. He's missed nearly a month and he's probably looking at a couple of games with a minutes limit. Once he returns, it'll take away from Jordan Poole and Donte DiVincenzo.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder (Ankle/Health & Safety Protocols)
In addition to dealing with multiple injuries, Gilgeous-Alexander is also in the league's health and safety protocols and he's looking at another few games on the sidelines. The Thunder continue shuffling Tre Mann and Isaiah Joe in and out of the lineup to play alongside Josh Giddey. Luguentz Dort will continue to take more shots.
Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Indiana Pacers (Calf)
Haliburton missed his last game with a sore calf and if he needs any more time off the floor, George Hill or T.J. McConnell will start in his place with the other being the primary backup and Buddy Hield and Bennedict Mathurin will get more shots. We should even see Chris Duarte get more minutes off the bench.
Jose Alvarado, PG, New Orleans Pelicans (Leg)
Alvarado is looking at the next three to four weeks on the shelf with a stress reaction in his leg. CJ McCollum is the Pelicans' primary point guard and they could look to have Josh Richardson assist him in bringing up the ball. The Pelicans can turn to Kira Lewis Jr as well and give him a bit of run.
LaMelo Ball, PG, Charlotte Hornets (Ankle)
Ball has injured his ankle multiple times this season limiting him to 36 games played. He was hurt coming into the season and with Charlotte heading to the lottery, Ball's season is done. A lot of the Hornets' backcourt players will see more time with the ball and certainly more shots. Dennis Smith Jr should run the offense a lot and Terry Rozier will assist him. Other scorers such as Gordon Hayward and Kelly Oubre Jr will see an increase in shot attempts.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder (Ankle)
Gilgeous-Alexander is dealing with mid and lower-body injuries and he’s missed his last couple of games and will continue to remain sidelined. Josh Giddey will bring up the ball most of the time and Isaiah Joe has been seeing an uptick in playing time. Luguentz Dort will take more shots as the Thunder will still need to rely mainly on their back and mid-court for offensive production. Tre Mann will see more reserve run as well and should continue playing around 15 minutes per game until Gilgeous-Alexander returns.
Monte Morris, PG, Washington Wizards (Back)
Morris has been suffering from back pain and after sitting out the Wizards' previous game. Even when he’s ready to play, he’ll still split time with Delon Wright who has been playing well lately on both sides of the ball. Morris should remain the prioritized point guard, but Wright has closed the gap over the last few weeks.
Collin Sexton, PG, Utah Jazz (Hamstring)
Sexton will miss at least another couple of games with an injured hamstring so Talen Horton-Tucker will continue bringing up the ball a lot. We’ve seen him contribute more assists and rebounds lately with the increase in role. The Jazz will also turn to Kris Dunn who they signed to a 10-day contract, and he played 23 minutes in the Jazz's last game.
Kevin Porter Jr, PG, Houston Rockets (Foot)
NOTE: Porter has returned for the Rockets.
NBA Shooting Guard Injury News
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers (Groin)
It was clear at the end of the Cavaliers-Celtics game that Mitchell was in pain. We're waiting to hear more of an update regarding his pain tolerance, but the Cavaliers surely want him healthy for the playoffs and they'll take a careful approach when evaluating him. Don't be surprised if he sits for a couple of games and if he does, Darius Garland take more shots and Caris LeVert will see his shots and time with the ball rise as well.
Anfernee Simons, SG, Portland Trail Blazers (Ankle)
Simons is hurt again after suffering an ankle injury and he's likely looking at at least one game off the floor. Simons missed a few weeks previously with an ankle injury. With Simons out, we should see both Matisse Thybulle and Cam Reddish pick up more shots in the Blazers' offense. Jerami Grant will be the second prioritized scorer behind Damian Lillard.
Norman Powell, SG, Los Angeles Clippers (Arm)
Norman Powell hurt his arm in the Clippers' last game and with them playing Friday night, he'll likely have to miss it. If he does indeed sit out, Eric Gordon will be the main beneficiary of Powell's shots left behind. The Clippers can also rely on Nicolas Batum a bit more.
Terrence Ross, SG, Phoenix Suns (Toe)
Jordan Clarkson, SG, Utah Jazz (Thumb)
Clarkson has a sprained thumb and he’ll be inactive for the Jazz game on Tuesday. With him out, the production ceilings rise for both Horton-Tucker and Dunn. Both will play a good number of minutes until either Clarkson or Sexton returns to the lineup. Ochai Agbaji has also played 29 minutes or more in 3 of his last 4 games and the Jazz will want to get him reps down the stretch so they can properly evaluate their major team needs heading into the offseason.
NBA Small Forward Injury News
LeBron James, SF, Los Angeles Lakers (Foot)
The timetable for James is clearing up a bit in we know we won't see him on the court for at minimum another three weeks and if the Lakers fall in the standings a bit over the next few weeks, they could opt to shut him down. Troy Brown Jr will play more with James out and we should see Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV take more shots.
Jimmy Butler, SF, Miami Heat (Knee)
Butler injured his knee in the Heat's last game and if he needs to sit for Friday's game, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro will shoot more and Max Strus and Caleb Martin will pick up playing time. Expect the Heat to feature Kevin Love more as well as he'll camp out at the arc waiting to be fed the ball so he can fire away three-pointers.
Keldon Johnson, SF, San Antonio Spurs (Foot)
Johnson has a sprained foot and if he needs more time to recover, Keita Bates-Diop will start and Jeremy Sochan will certainly be featured more in the Spurs' offense. As Devin Vassell gets more minutes (currently limited), he'll be forced to shoot more with Johnson sidelined.
Kenrich Williams, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (Wrist)
Williams' season is over as he will have surgery on his wrist and with him out of action, Jalen Williams will certainly pick up more of the slack on offense and he'll get more time with the ball. Dario Saric and Aaron Wiggins should see more playing time as well.
Bojan Bogdanovic, SF, Detroit Pistons (Achilles)
Bogdanovic is dealing with a sore Achilles and sat out for the Pistons' last game. If he needs more time off the floor, Hamidou Diallo and Alec Burks will play more and we should see Killian Hayes and Jaden Ivey have more time with the ball in their hands. Ivey (when on the court) will certainly take more shots if Bogdanovic needs more time to recover.
NBA Power Forward Injury News
Marcus Morris Sr., PF, Los Angeles Clippers (Elbow)
Morris missed the Clippers' last game with an injured elbow and if he needs more time to heal up, Nicolas Batum will see his minutes and shots rise.
Doug McDermott, PF, San Antonio Spurs (Thumb)
McDermott sprained his thumb in the Spurs' last game and we don't know how long he'll be out. With McDermott likely looking at a multi-game absence, Keita Bates-Diop will be asked to shoot a bit more and the Spurs will be even more reliant on Jeremy Sochan to produce offensively.
Ben Simmons, PF, Brooklyn Nets (Knee)
The Nets are essentially starting three forwards already and Simmons (who got an injection in his knee a little over a week ago) has not been playing many minutes. The Nets haven’t been able to figure out where he fits best and even when Simmons does eventually return to action, he will be looking at 18-20 minutes of playing time. Dorian Finney-Smith gives the Nets a huge defensive boost and Spencer Dinwiddie will play deep into games and Simmons isn’t much of a shooter.
P.J. Washington, PF, Charlotte Hornets (Foot)
Washington has sat for a couple of games with a sprained foot and with him out, there are more shots to go around for Hayward and Oubre. JT Thor has played 22 minutes or more in both of his last 2 games and he should continue drawing starts until Washington returns.
Isaiah Stewart, PF, Detroit Pistons (Foot)
Stewart hurt his hip last weekend and missed the Pistons' last game and if he needs more time off the floor, Marvin Bagley III, who has looked good since returning, will shift to power forward and he and James Wiseman will guard the post until Stewart and Jalen Duren are healthy enough to play. Hamidou Diallo should indirectly benefit by seeing more time with the ball.
Jonathan Isaac, PF, Orlando Magic (Hamstring)
Isaac has a strained hamstring as this guy is simply made of glass and has had trouble staying healthy since joining the NBA. Bol Bol should see a slight uptick in minutes and the Magic can always shift either Wendell Carter Jr. or Mo Wagner down to power forward to clog up the paint a bit more on defense. The Magic will monitor Isaac’s minutes for the rest of the season.
NBA Center Injury News
Jonas Valanciunas, C, New Orleans Pelicans (Calf)
Valanciunas is dealing with an injured calf and has already missed time and if he needs to miss any more action, Willy Hernangomez will help out up front on offense and the Pelicans will use Jaxson Hayes for defensive purposes with Larry Nance still out.
Ivica Zubac, C, Los Angeles Clippers (Calf)
After missing his last two games, there’s a chance that Zubac can return for the Clippers next game and if he gets cleared, Mason Plumlee will be sent back to the bench to back him up.
Jalen Duren, C, Detroit Pistons (Ankle)
Duren’s ankle has been in pain and when he is ready to return to the court, what role is he walking back into? James Wiseman has looked good since the Pistons traded for him and right after they got him, they said they were planning on starting him which would send Duren to the bench. Duren will have more competition for playing time with Bagley back in the mix as well.
Larry Nance Jr., C, New Orleans Pelicans (Ankle)
Nance has been splitting center minutes with Jonas Valanciunas and he missed his last game with an ankle injury. If he needs more time off the floor, Jaxson Hayes will continue backing up Valanciunas.
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Related NBA Links:
- 2022-23 NBA Season Stats
- NBA Rest-of-Season Projections
- NBA Starting Lineups
- 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Week 20: Delon Wright is a Strong Add