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SGA, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell headline NBA injury report for Friday, Dec. 31

We take a look at the NBA injury report for Friday, December 31th and break down all the latest news for fantasy basketball.

Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards shoots a free throw during the game against the Phoenix Suns on December 16, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

We’re almost into 2022. It’s New Year’s Eve and the NBA doesn’t care about your plans, they’re going to schedule a ton of games anyway. At least it gives us one last NBA DFS slate in the year 2021. Aside from the usual players in COVID-19 protocols, there are a few key injuries we’re going to monitor heading into the slate. Check below for the latest injury reports for each game, plus a bit of analysis.

NBA injury report, December 31st

Phoenix Suns vs. Boston Celtics

Deandre Ayton (protocols) OUT
JaVale McGee (protocols) OUT
Jae Crowder (protocols) OUT
Elfrid Payton (protocols) OUT

Update — Jalen Smith is going to start in place of McGee against the Celtics.

Jayson Tatum (protocols) OUT
Dennis Schroder (protocols) OUT
Aaron Nesmith (protocols) OUT
Enes Freedom (protocols) OUT
Marcus Smart (hand) Available

Update — Smart is going to start and won’t have a minutes restriction against the Suns this afternoon.

Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers

Alex Caruso (foot) OUT
Lonzo Ball (protocols) OUT
Alfonzo McKinnie (protocols) OUT
Tony Bradley (protocols) OUT

Update - Caruso is expected to miss the team’s next two games, including Friday’s contest against the Pacers.

Malcolm Brogdon (protocols/Achilles) OUT
Chris Duarte (protocols) OUT
Isaiah Jackson (protocols) OUT
Jeremy Lamb (protocols) OUT

Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings

Luka Doncic (protocols) OUT
Willie Cauley-Stein (personal) OUT
Reggie Bullock (protocols) OUT
Brandon Knight (protocols) OUT
Tim Hardaway Jr. (protocols) OUT

Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets

Jimmy Butler (ankle) AVAILABLE
KZ Okpala (wrist) OUT
Duncan Robinson (protocols) OUT
Marcus Garrett (protocols) OUT
Kyle Lowry (protocols) AVAILABLE
Gabe Vincent (protocols) OUT
Max Strus (protocols) OUT
PJ Tucker (protocols) OUT

Update - Butler will play Friday for the Heat, which is a big boost for a team struggling to get enough players on the floor. Lowry will also be able to play for the Heat.

The Heat had their previous game on Wednesday postponed. We’ll see if they get enough bodies to play against the Rockets.

Kenyon Martin Jr. (protocols) OUT
Jae’Sean Tate (protocols) OUT
Garrison Mathews (protocols) OUT

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Bogdan Bogdanovic (protocols) OUT
Kevin Huerter (protocols) OUT
Gorgui Dieng (protocols) OUT
John Collins (protocols) OUT

Darius Garland (protocols) OUT
Jarrett Allen (conditioning) Probable
Ricky Rubio (knee) OUT

Update — Allen is being listed as probable to return to the lineup from the COVID-19 list tonight vs. the Hawks. It’ll impact how we approach Evan Mobley and Kevin Love on the late slate. Dean Wade also gets a downgrade. Mobley should be fine. Love likely comes off the bench with Mobley and Allen in the front court.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Toronto Raptors

Paul George (elbow) OUT
Reggie Jackson (protocols) AVAILABLE
Nicolas Batum (protocols) OUT
Ivica Zubac (protocols) OUT

Update - Jackson is set to start Friday, so his conditioning level is up to the mark to get back on the court. It’s a big boost for the Clippers, who are attempting to tread water while Paul George recovers from an elbow injury.

Fred VanVleet (conditioning) AVAILABLE
OG Anunoby (conditioning) AVAILABLE
Scottie Barnes (conditioning) OUT
Precious Achiuwa (conditioning) AVAILABLE
Khem Birch (conditioning) AVAILABLE
Dalano Banton (conditioning) AVAILABLE

Update - Barnes has been ruled out, but the Raptors are getting a slew of players back with VanVleet, Anunoby and Baton all set to play. This is big news for Toronto, who hopes to be a playoff contender by the end of the season.

Update - Barnes has been upgraded to questionable, so he’s trending in the right direction for a return to the floor. Achiuwa and Birch are available to play.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Dejounte Murray (protocols) OUT
Lonnie Walker (knee) AVAILABLE

Update - Walker said he’s available to play, so the forward should see some minutes Friday.

Xavier Tillman (protocols) OUT
Dillon Brooks (protocols) OUT

New York Knicks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Julius Randle (protocols) OUT
Danuel House Jr. (finger) OUT
Evan Fournier (ankle) AVAILABLE
Kemba Walker (knee) OUT

Update - Walker has been ruled out for Friday’s game. The Knicks will start Miles McBride in Walker’s place.

Update - Fournier will start in Friday’s game.

Update - The Knicks will start Obi Toppin instead of Julius Randle in this contest. Fournier is officially a game-time decision.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) AVAILABLE
Kenrich Williams (ankle) AVAILABLE
Josh Giddey (protocols) OUT
Aleksej Pokusevski (protocols) Active

Update - Gilgeous-Alexander and Williams are both set to play in Friday’s contest.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Utah Jazz

Anthony Edwards (conditioning) AVAILABLE
Jarred Vanderbilt (conditioning) AVAILABLE
Taurean Prince (conditioning) AVAILABLE
Karl-Anthony Towns (protocols) OUT
D’Angelo Russell (protocols) OUT

Update - Edwards is set to play Friday against the Jazz. He’s part of three Timberwolves players who will all suit up in Utah after initially being listed as questionable.

Donovan Mitchell (back) AVAILABLE
Mike Conley (rest) OUT
Joe Ingles (back) OUT

Update - Ingles has been ruled out with a back issue.

Update - Mitchell will play, and reportedly won’t have a minutes limit. With Conley resting, look for Mitchell to be the primary ball handler in this contest against the Timberwolves.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Anfernee Simons (protocols) OUT
Jusuf Nurkic (protocols) OUT
Robert Covington (protocols) OUT
Nassir Little (ankle) AVAILABLE

Update - Little, who was already probable, is set to play in Friday’s game.

LeBron James (abdominal) AVAILABLE
Avery Bradley (head) AVAILABLE

Both James and Bradley will play Friday.