NBA Player News
Neto (coach's decision) didn't see the floor in a 97-95 loss to the Thunder on Monday.
Neto has been excluded from the rotation for much of the season, but even with the Jazz backcourt at close to full health with only Rodney Hood (knee) out, the second-year point guard had surprisingly picked up playing time prior to Monday. Neto had averaged 11.0 minutes per game while appearing in each of the prior four contests, but after failing to provide much of an impact during any of those contests, he fell behind Dante Exum in the pecking order against the Thunder. It appears Neto's window of opportunity may have closed, though even when he was a mainstay in the rotation for most of his rookie season, he rarely made any waves on the stat sheet.
Exum recorded eight points (3-6 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 1-1 FT), two assists, one rebound and one steal across 14 minutes in a 97-95 loss to the Thunder on Monday.
Raul Neto had recently leapfrogged both Exum and Shelvin Mack on the depth chart at point guard, but it was Exum and Alec Burks who saw all the time initiating the offense Monday when starting point guard George Hill was off the court. Burks still sees the bulk of his time off the ball, so it seems likely that Exum will slot in as the primary backup at point guard going forward, especially in light of his strong outing Monday. Exum has generally disappointed in his first season back from an ACL tear, but the Jazz still view the 21-year-old as a major part of their long-term plans.
Mack (coach's decision) didn't see the floor in a 97-95 loss to the Thunder.
After scoring six total points in a four-game stretch following his move back to the bench earlier in January when George Hill returned from a concussion, Mack has dropped out of coach Quin Snyder's rotation entirely. Mack hasn't played in any of the last five games, with Dante Exum and Raul Neto having since surpassed him on the depth chart. Given the Jazz's ample depth at point guard, it wouldn't be surprising if Mack were dealt to another team prior to the trade deadline, which would certainly afford him more playing time.
Carter-Williams is expected to shift to the bench Tuesday against the Magic, KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Carter-Williams has started every game since Dec. 31, but he's struggled over the Bulls' last three contests, so coach Fred Hoiberg will go with Jerian Grant at point guard Tuesday. While Grant will likely see a mild boost in value, Carter-Williams' production probably won't be greatly affected, as he's been playing only 23.7 minutes per game since taking over as the starter.
Grant worked with the starting group at shootaround and is expected to move into the lineup Tuesday against Orlando, KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Michael Carter-Williams has struggled over the last three games, shooting a combined 6-of-18 from the floor and dishing out just five total assists. With the Bulls looking for a spark, it looks as though coach Fred Hoiberg will give Jerian Grant a look at point guard, despite the fact that the second-year Notre Dame product was a DNP-CD in Saturday's win over the Kings. Grant's value will likely see a mild boost Tuesday, though Carter-Williams' minutes load is unlikely to be drastically reduced, as he's averaging only 23.7 minutes in the month of January.
Caldwell-Pope (shoulder) produced 14 points (4-14 FG, 1-8 3Pt, 5-6 FT), five rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block across 37 minutes in a 109-104 loss to the Kings on Monday.
Aside from an off night from the field and from three-point range, Caldwell-Pope's return from a four-game absence due a strained left shoulder went largely without a hitch. He took back his spot in the starting five and saw a full workload, allowing him to turn in a well-rounded stat line, as his rebound, assist and steal totals were all above his season averages. Caldwell-Pope will now have a full four days to rest up before the Pistons are back on the schedule Saturday against the Heat.
Okafor (knee) is considered questionable for Tuesday's game against the Clippers.
The Sixers deemed Okafor probable Monday, but he's now been downgraded after being limited by a sore right knee at shootaround Tuesday morning. The big man will likely end up as a game-time decision, and if he doesn't play, Nerlens Noel instantly becomes a highly attractive DFS option, as Joel Embiid (knee) has already been ruled out.
Rubio (personal) is expected to rejoin the team in Phoenix and is listed as the probable starter at point guard for Tuesday's game against the Suns.
Rubio was away from the team to tend to a personal matter during Sunday's 111-108 win over the Nuggets, marking his first absence since Nov. 9. It sounds like the 26-year-old has addressed whatever he needed to take care of, so it sounds like he'll be back on the floor Tuesday. In addition to sitting out Sunday, Rubio was also removed from the Timberwolves' previous game last Thursday against the Clippers with a hip injury and didn't return, but it appears that's no longer an issue. Considering that Rubio was averaging 13.2 points, 14.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game in his five outings prior to departing last Thursday, fantasy owners should feel confident in activating him for the upcoming week.
Coach Fred Hoiberg indicated that the team plans to have Wade available for both Tuesday's game against the Magic and Wednesday's game against the Hawks, Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reports.
Wade has sat out for one game in four of the Bulls' other back-to-back sets this season, but he did play in both legs of the team's most recent back-to-back set over the weekend, logging 20 minutes Friday against the Hawks and 35 minutes Saturday against the Kings. It's possible that Wade's playing time could be limited a bit either Tuesday or Wednesday, though the likelihood of the veteran suiting up in all four of the Bulls' games this week should make him an easy lineup choice for season-long fantasy owners. Wade is averaging 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game in January, but is shooting just 38.1 percent from the field.
Johnson (shoulder) said he won't travel with the Heat for their upcoming two-game road trip, which includes matchups Wednesday with the Nets and Friday with the Bulls, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.
Johnson had already missed the Heat's previous two games with a left shoulder strain, the same shoulder that required surgery in February. Fortunately, Johnson doesn't believe the injury is a major concern, so the Heat will evaluate him on a day-to-day basis once the team returns from the road trip. Dion Waiters and Wayne Ellington should be the main beneficiaries of increased minutes while Johnson is sidelined.