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How does Rajon Rondo’s injury affect the Lakers?

Could Alex Caruso become one of the best NBA DFS value plays when basketball returns?

LeBron James, and Alex Caruso of the Los Angeles Lakers react to a play against the Chicago Bulls on November 5, 2019 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

UPDATE, 7/16 3:50 p.m.: The Lakers announced Rondo had successful surgery on his fractured right thumb and, “[h]e is expected to return to full basketball activities in 6-8 weeks.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have had limited options in their backcourt all year, and now their depth problems have gotten even worse. Rajon Rondo has suffered a fractured thumb and is expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks while recovering, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. What does that mean for Los Angeles guard rotation? We’ll go over some ways it could affect the fantasy impact of a couple players here.

Fantasy basketball impact

Lebron James

James has risen to another level in the playoffs consistently for years, and it appears like he’ll have to continue doing so in year 17. He has been a point forward for the Lakers all year and leads the NBA in assists per game (10.6). His 30.8 percent usage rate was already set to increase, but Rondo’s injury could cause the rise to be even more dramatic than expected.

Alex Caruso

Believe it or not, James has to come off the court at some point. Caruso has emerged as a social media star because of his unique look, but he’s also pretty good at basketball. His stats might not be amazing, but he’s been much more efficient than Quinn Cook when he gets minutes. He’s most suited for running the Lakers’ second unit, as he has the best playmaking ability among reserve guards and has sturdy team defense. Recent pickups like J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters might look good on paper, but Caruso can be a less popular value play with a higher floor than both those options.