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Nicolas Batum will be listed as available for Friday's game against the Bucks after sitting out the first leg of their back-to-back set Monday. In his place, Robert Covington likely sees an expanded role.
Batum may not be the top pick in 12-team fantasy leagues, but his role as a reliable facilitator makes him worthy of consideration in deeper formats. He can provide some much needed help at the three-point line or on the glass for teams that require it.
The Charlotte Hornets announced that Nicolas Batum will miss Game 3 of their series against Miami Heat due to a left ankle sprain sustained during Game 2. This setback comes as they look to build on their 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Batum has been an integral part of the Hornets' offense this season and a key factor in their success on both ends of the court. His contribution is immeasurable, serving as Kemba Walker's go-to option when playing off-ball this year, leading him to career highs in points per game, assists and steals.
He has been an integral part of Charlotte's rise as one of the East's top teams this season and his presence will be crucial if they hope to return to the playoffs. Charlotte has won four straight home games under his leadership, and his presence will likely keep them in this series and extend their winning streak.
His injury isn't serious, so he won't need much rest before his return to the lineup. He's expected to sit out of the first leg of a back-to-back set that begins Friday; however Robert Covington should see extended minutes in his place.
On the second leg of their back-to-back set, it's possible the Clippers might move Kawhi Leonard (knee), Paul George (knee) and Marcus Morris (ribs) to give Batum an extended opportunity for extended minutes. He's been a reliable fantasy play this season and should remain so for fantasy managers in the two sets ahead.
In the meantime, we'll keep you informed as more details become available about each player listed above. We also take a look at injury reports from other NBA teams so be sure to visit our Injury Impact for updates on these and many other injuries.
Mirjam Swanson of The Southern California News Group reports that the Clippers are still in need of depth at the wing, which is why they reportedly traded for Nicolas Batum to fill that spot. This move by the team is critical and Batum should be a major factor in fantasy and Daily Fantasy Sports games this Friday against the Bulls.
If Powell can regain his previous form, he would be an ideal pick for many formats. He's an underrated playmaker, an effective outside shooter and, most importantly, a lethal scorer who can create his own shot.
Over the past five games, he's averaged 28.0 points and shot 52.7 percent from the field - making him a top six scorer during that span. His return could be instrumental in the Clippers' success this season.
Though Powell hasn't been healthy, he's played some of his best basketball yet. This achievement is a testament to all the hard work that went into recovering from two broken fingers in January: one on his fingertip and another in his shoulder. It's unfortunate that Powell couldn't stay healthy longer, but at least he's back playing basketball!
Now he's back in the rotation, making for an impressive addition to the roster. He will serve as backup to Marc Gasol who hasn't been ruled out and Serge Ibaka who remains questionable with right knee soreness.
If he can return to full strength, it's possible that Powell could see extended time in the Raptors' starting lineup, where he hasn't been for six games. Nick Nurse will likely decide whether he wants Fred VanVleet alongside Kyle Lowry or Powell who has an opportunity to prove he can be a reliable backup for a franchise player in this role that he currently fills.
But this decision will be even more challenging given the Clippers have already given up some depth on the wings in a pre-deadline trade. As Swanson points out, they may need to rely on some of their more talented backup players. Nonetheless, this presents them with an exciting chance to improve their chances of making it all the way to the NBA Finals.
If you've been following the Timberwolves this season, you may have noticed their constant battle with injuries. At present, Derrick Rose, Jeff Teague and Tyus Jones are out with injuries; Robert Covington may be out as well after an MRI revealed a bone bruise on his right knee.
Last week, the Timberwolves suffered an injury to a key member of their roster; nonetheless, they remain determined to improve this season. Unfortunately, due to Covington's absence, that will be difficult as he is expected to miss several games.
Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers have their own injuries to contend with; Damian Lillard (abdomen) will be out at least 10 days and Zach Simons and Jakob Poeltl both missed two games due to ankle issues respectively. Despite these setbacks, Portland remains in a strong position to take advantage of its remaining two games against Houston where they lead 2-0 in the series.
With Covington out, there will be more playing time available for other players. Amir Coffey, Marcus Morris and Robert Covington all have a chance at earning additional minutes as the team strives for a top-four spot in the Western Conference standings.
But with Covington missing the opening game of the season, the team must hope he can regain his previous form and contribute on both ends of the floor this season. That's a tall order, but they have high hopes for him.
While with the Clippers, Covington developed into one of the league's premier 3-point shooters. He shot an impressive 73% from distance in two games back in March and that cemented their decision to give him a two-year extension in February that prevented him from entering unrestricted free agency.
That makes it hard to believe the Clippers would trade Leonard, even with their front office still considering his future in Los Angeles. However, Murray believes the trade deadline may represent a "definition point" between coach Tyronn Lue and the Clippers' front office regarding Covington's future in LA.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Ty Lue hopes Nicolas Batum can return to the lineup for Monday's game against the Phoenix Suns. Batum missed Saturday's 116-105 victory over Boston due to a right ankle sprain, but he spoke to reporters afterward and indicated that he should be healthy for Monday's contest.
Lue is still uncertain whether Luke Kennard will play Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets due to a strained left calf. Though Kennard is expected to miss Friday's contest, his condition could improve by Monday if that becomes possible.
Kennard has struggled to make an impact since returning from injury, yet his nine-game absence only served to limit his playing time. While Kennard's return to the starting five Thursday in Utah should provide fantasy managers with some hope, his minutes should still be limited.
Kennard can likely be a three-point streaming option on low traffic nights, but until his workload returns to what it was before the injury, fantasy leaguers shouldn't count him in as a starting wing.
After four games since returning from an ankle sprain, his role has been limited. Still, he's averaging 8.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest, suggesting he could see some minutes Wednesday and be a good option to add on low-volume nights.
Meanwhile, he's averaging 5.8 assists per game and shooting 7-for-19 on 3-pointers over his last six games. Therefore, his fantasy value may decrease until he receives more minutes and improves on his percentages from both inside and outside the 3-point arc.
On Monday night, George returned to practice after missing seven games with a sprained elbow and played well in an overtime victory against Charlotte. Not only did George score 19 points and add seven rebounds in the win, but his presence along with Paul George (right ankle sprain) gave L.A. much-needed momentum going into their next matchup against New Orleans on March 10.
George's elbow is a serious concern and will be out for at least the next two weeks, but he seems unconcerned about it. With continued production from George, it won't be long until George returns to the starting lineup.
Friday night the Penguins and Ducks will battle for the second time this season in an intriguing matchup between two teams that have made trades in the past. It should be an entertaining battle.
Rickard Rakell of Anaheim has caught the attention of several teams, including the New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights. According to Emily Kaplan of ESPN, both clubs are in advanced talks to acquire the Anaheim forward.
As the NHL trade deadline draws near, teams throughout the league are considering their options to add or remove players from their rosters. Pittsburgh Penguins owners want to strengthen their squad while Anaheim Ducks fans want a major impact.
On Monday, the Ducks traded Rickard Rakell to the Penguins in a deal that will provide both sides with an offensive boost throughout their remaining regular season and into the playoffs. As part of the exchange, Pittsburgh sent forwards Zach Aston-Reese, Dominik Simon and a second round pick to Anaheim for Rakell who has scored 16 goals and 12 assists this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent after 2021-22.
The Penguins could potentially resign the 28-year-old right winger, but they must be willing to part with a portion of his $2.125 million salary. Furthermore, the Ducks must decide whether they want him in their top six or sell him on the open market and try to secure an expensive forward to help them compete for a Stanley Cup title.
No matter their decision, it will be fascinating to see which team makes a move for Rakell at the trade deadline. It could indicate that both clubs are actively searching for top-end players and both clubs have an accurate sense of where they stand in the standings.
The Penguins have a wealth of young prospects competing for spots in their organization, so they may look to add an experienced player to round out their roster. Conversely, the Ducks already have several highly-drafted prospects who are eager to progress even further down the line.
Many teams would be interested in trading for Gibson. One possibility is the New York Rangers, who are in the midst of their rebuild and have plenty of cap space to work with. Furthermore, they've made several significant moves at the deadline recently and have earned a reputation for being player-friendly franchise.
Goaltending is always an interesting position to follow during the offseason, as teams that require help in that area often compete for attention. There are several reasons why this market could be particularly interesting this year, but one major reason is the dearth of high-end netminders available on UFA deals.
Team owners that want to avoid overpaying may face a dilemma, but it also means there's likely some chance a team might be willing to trade a goalie at the deadline if they can identify an organization in need of upgrading. Here's my prediction:
Pittsburgh is fortunate to have Casey DeSmith as their backup goaltender. He's shown enough talent and experience to serve as an effective Plan B goalie, and has been especially impressive when the Penguins have needed to rely on him this season.
He's even made some impressive saves against the Ducks in the past, such as when DeSmith came up with an incredible glove save on Alexis Zegras during overtime last week in Chicago.
On Friday night, Pittsburgh's goalie didn't put in a perfect performance; Anaheim scored three goals in the third period to tie the game with one minute left to play. With less than one minute remaining, Guentzel sent a wrist shot over Gibson's shoulder as Pittsburgh secured their victory.
After an early penalty, the Penguins were able to end each of Anaheim's power plays and limit them to just four shots on goal in the final 15 minutes of regulation. With 13 straight games without allowing a power-play goal, they have become one of the NHL's premier teams at killing penalties.
John Gibson, who had been in goal for the first two periods of Pittsburgh's previous game against Anaheim, left with a lower-body injury and Anthony Stolarz was called up from AHL San Diego to replace him. Though Stolarz may or may not be available to start Friday's game against the Penguins, ESPN's Tim Gleason believes he should be able to start on Saturday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are taking a short road trip to the west coast, starting off against the Anaheim Ducks. These teams have been involved in multiple trades since 2016, and it appears likely they'll do so again before year-end. So this matchup should provide plenty of exciting prospects for scouts.
The Ducks have had a tough season, yet they remain one of the better-run organizations in the NHL. They possess an experienced goaltending situation and boast an impressive forward group that has been the talk of the league for much of this season. Furthermore, with Rickard Rakell joining them recently, this team could potentially be a winner.
The Penguins made an exciting trade that didn't break the bank: Zach Aston-Reese, Dominik Simon and Calle Clang were acquired for 28-year-old Rakell. Despite that price tag, Rakell looks set to be their most productive forward in some time. While this is certainly an exciting development for the organization, there remain numerous questions surrounding this addition: where will he fit among Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel and Max Talbot on a roster already loaded with stars like Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel and Talbot?
As the NHL trade deadline nears, there are a number of teams that could potentially be potential trading partners. These include the Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks.
Both teams have collaborated on four trades since 2016, making them well acquainted. The Ducks have some contracts they would be willing to part with and the Penguins are looking to improve their squad before the trade deadline.
The Penguins have been a formidable force on the road, winning four of their last five games while keeping opponents to fewer than three goals per contest. Additionally, they had demonstrated excellent shorthanded effectiveness before Thursday's crushing loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
After the all-star break, the Penguins are looking to build on their confidence against an opponent that boasts many young players. This is the first stop on their four-game California road trip which also includes a game against Los Angeles Kings tomorrow night in LA and a matchup against San Jose next week.
Although the Ducks have experienced their share of ups and downs this season, they remain a reliable option for potential trade partners to consider. Their young core is strong, while Dallas Eakins is an accomplished coach.
If the Ducks can improve their defensive play, they could potentially be Stanley Cup contenders. Unfortunately, their current personnel is not quite up to the challenge of beating a tough schedule and an inferior Central Division.
Regarding potential trade prospects, the Ducks may seek to add a player with some depth at the defense position. Their system currently has Brian Branch in it and he would make an excellent addition at either safety or nickel position.
The Penguins could add a veteran presence on the back end with Matt Cullen and Kris Letang both returning from injuries. Letang has been an integral part of Penguins' resurgent defense this year, so his return is welcome news for them. Already, he has scored five points in four games while being an important factor in both overtime wins for them this season.