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Devin Booker, James Harden headline NBA injury report for Thursday, Dec. 16

We take a look at the injury report in the NBA for Thursday night’s slate.

Phoenix Suns v Portland Trail Blazers
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns smiles before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on December 14, 2021 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon.
Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

There are only four games on Thursday’s NBA slate, with the contest between the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors postponed due to COVID outbreaks. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of injury news to look out for, with Devin Booker, Joel Embiid and James Harden among the big names to keep an eye on. Here’s a look at Thursday’s injury report and status updates for the relevant players.

NBA Injury Report, December 16th

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets

Update — PG Tyrese Maxey (quad) has been ruled out tonight vs. the Nets.

Joel Embiid (knee), Questionable

The 76ers big man was a game-time call in Wednesday’s contest against the Heat and will once again trend in that direction as this is the second game of a back-to-back set.

James Harden (protocols), TBD

Harden entered the league’s health and safety protocols Wednesday and is likely out for Thursday’s game against the 76ers. The guard is vaccinated as part of the New York City mandate, so he can return when he delivers two negative COVID tests 24 hours apart. Depending on whether Harden was considered a close contact or an actual positive case, he could come out of the protocols Thursday.

Other injuries: Seth Curry (shoulder), day-to-day

Washington Wizards vs. Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker (hamstring), week-to-week

Booker missed Tuesday’s contest against the Celtics, his sixth straight absence with the hamstring injury. It’s officially a week-to-week issue, so the Suns could potentially be without Booker again Thursday against the Wizards.

Spencer Dinwiddie (rest), Out

Dinwiddie has been a great offseason addition for the Wizards, fitting in well in the backcourt with Bradley Beal. On the second game of a back-to-back, it makes sense for the guard with an injury history to get a rest day.

Other injuries: Jalen Smith (illness), Will Play

Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers

Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles), Out

Brogdon was a late addition to the injury report, popping up a little after 6 p.m. ET. He won’t play tonight vs. the Pistons. With Brogdon out, Caris LeVert ($7,500) becomes a solid mid-range GPP play. Domantas Sabonis ($10,500) was already going to be a strong tourney option. Chris Duarte ($4,600) and Brad Wanamaker ($3,000) get a bump with Brogdon sidelined.

Jerami Grant (thumb), Out

Grant, Detroit’s best player, is out indefinitely with a thumb issue. This is tough news for the Pistons, who have leaned on the forward this season. Grant was also a great trade chip for Detroit but it appears the team won’t be able to deal him until he recovers.

New York Knicks vs. Houston Rockets

Christian Wood (knee), Out

Update — Wood has been ruled out tonight vs. the Knicks.

Update — It appears Wood has been upgraded to questionable to play tonight vs. the Knicks. If he ends up returning, he’ll be a popular play on DraftKings for tournaments. At $9,400, that’s a pretty high price tag. If Wood isn’t on a minutes limit, he’s not a bad contrarian play on a short slate. Wood dropped 40.5 DKFP on the Knicks the last time around on limited touches. He’d be the focal point with KPJ and House still out.

Wood was expected to be out at least two games, including last night’s game against the Cavaliers. This would be his second missed game.

Other injuries: Eric Gordon (groin), available, Kevin Porter Jr. (groin), out indefinitely, Danuel House (ankle), out indefinitely