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Nikola Vucevic available to play Sunday vs. Pelicans [UPDATE]

Magic center will make his return after missing past 11 games.

Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic is guarded by Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis during the second half at Amway Center. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: December 15th, UPDATE: Vucevic will be available to play Sunday vs. the Pelicans.

SO with Vuce back, Khem Bird will likely to back to the bench and he’s an immediate downgrade. Plus, Mohamed Bamba should see fewer minutes. Overall, this should eventually be a big boost to the Magic offense. Vucevic is a great rebounder and passer for a big man. We aren’t sure how many minutes Vuce will get, so be cautious with rolling him out in both DFS and season-long fantasy basketball.

December 14th, UPDATE: Vucevic was unable to return Friday, but is being listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. the Pelicans. Markelle Fultz was able to shake off an illness and play last night vs. the Rockets. If Vucevic is able to get back on the court Sunday, we’d like see Khem Birch go back to the bench, with Mo Bamba seeing fewer minutes as a reserve. Though, this may not be the case right away, Vuce would likely start, but could be on a minutes restriction.

UPDATE: Vuce has been ruled out, so he won’t be back in the lineup after a long layoff. Fultz is available to play, so he’ll jump back into the starting lineup.

With Vuce still out, continue to roll out Aaron Gordon, Khem Birch and Mo Bamba. With Fultz back — assuming he isn’t limited — DJ Augustin is a little less appealing in DFS and season-long formats.

Orlando Magic C Nikola Vucevic (ankle) and PG Markelle Fultz (illness) will both be game-time decisions Friday night vs. the Houston Rockets.

The good news is both players went through shootaround, so there’s a chance they both get back into the lineup tonight. Vuce has been sidelined since injuring his ankle on Nov. 20 against the Toronto Raptors, so his return would be a huge boost on both sides of the ball for the Magic. Fultz was unable to play Wednesday vs. the Los Angeles Lakers due to an illness.

Fantasy Basketball Analysis: Orlando Magic lineup

If Vuce gets back in there, I’d imagine he’d be restricted a bit. At $8,400 on DraftKings, he isn’t really a viable play. In season-long, he’d probably be best served on the bench until he’s at 100%. If Vuce is back in some capacity, Khem Birch is going to go back to the bench, and could be buried behind Mo Bamba, who has been playing well. Once Vuce is 100% back, you can drop Birch in season-long. For Fultz, if he’s back and able to start, DJ Augustin’s value takes a hit. He’s $4,400 on DK and would be a nice value if Fultz is out again.