DeMarre Carroll – SF BKN
Though he is technically behind Allen Crabbe on the depth charts, DeMarre Carroll has been second on the Nets in minutes and has been a force off the bench. He is second on the team in scoring and second on the team in rebounding, averaging 14.2 and 6.3 respectively, and has proven himself to be an incredibly valuable sixth man. Now Carroll is a bit dinged up, dealing with some ankle soreness. The injury is not expected to be too serious and may even just be a precautionary label. Carroll has been a very valuable player even in smaller leagues and should probably be owned in just about all leagues, but he is still available in almost half of ESPN leagues currently.
Lauri Markkanen – PF CHI
If you are regular reader of Inside Injuries, you may remember that in this piece last week we talked about the craziness occurring in Chicago off the court, with Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis getting into a brawl leading to Mirotic missing time due to injury and Portis missing time due to suspension. Last week we mentioned this would increase the importance of Robin Lopez’s veteran presence, but a lesser expected outcome would be the increased value of the backup power forward Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen has been money in his 32 minutes per game, averaging just shy of a double-double with 15.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. And with Nikola still out for 4-6 weeks, Portis on suspension, and either one potentially being traded to help resolve the tension, Markkanen will look to flourish in the vacuum left during the struggle.
Dejounte Murray – PG SA
Dejounte Murray has been impressive so far in his second year in the league, and the Spurs have relied on him more than expected. Seemingly ageless Tony Parker is showing some of his age, as he is recovering from a quad injury that required surgery. But the Spurs haven’t missed the star all too much, considering the performance Murray has been able to put up. In 25 minutes per game, Murray has averaged 9.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. But it has been feast or famine for Murray. Last week against the Raptors, Murray had a double-double, notching 16 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in just 28 minutes, but then he followed that up with a zero point, three rebound, three assist game in 24 minutes against the Heat. I tend to believe the better player is the true story, but he hasn’t been able to establish himself as a consistent performer. He should still be valuable for the foreseeable future.
D.J. Augustin – PG ORL
D.J. Augustin is a short term add that could really pay off, especially in deeper leagues. He is filling in for the injured Elfrid Payton for at least the next week. He has only been playing 24 minutes per game, but he has made the most of them, as Augustin has the highest true shooting percentage of any qualifying player in the NBA this season. Augustin also ranks ninth in the NBA in assists per 48 minutes in his short outings, showing that the ball is really moving through his hands when he is on the court. According to Inside Injuries’ Health Performance Factor, Payton is still well below average, meaning he has a way to go before he is 100 percent. He may only be valuable for the next week, maybe two, but in deeper leagues he will be worth adding.
J.J. Barea – PG DAL
J.J. Barea is a veteran guard who has seemingly been the sixth or seventh man on every team he has ever been on. But he has thrived in the role, and he continues to do so in 2017. With the Mavericks, he was looking at being a 15-minute guy, split between point and shooting guard, but after Seth Curry injured his tibia in preseason, Barea has averaged 23 minutes per game, and they have been valuable minutes. Barea has been averaging 13 points and five assists per game, making him a potentially valuable bench piece in all leagues until Curry gets back. Curry will be out for at least another week, and maybe longer depending on how he heals, and if anything, with the performances he has had in limited minutes, Barea will see more playing time in the near future.
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