We’ve got a massive 13-game NBA slate on our hands tonight, so believe me when I tell you that there’s no shortage of injuries. Obviously, no one likes when players are unavailable; however, like a soulless lawyer chasing an ambulance, I’m here to put a positive spin on some ailments. If someone’s sidelined, that just means more opportunity for someone else, right?
Keeping that in mind, let’s break down a few of my favorite values for Wednesday evening.
SG James Bouknight, Charlotte Hornets at Philadelphia 76ers, $3,800
The Hornets’ backcourt depth has taken a huge hit the past week due to health and safety protocols, as LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Ish Smith are all currently unavailable. On Monday, in a matchup with this same 76ers team, that meant an opportunity for Bouknight to make his first real impact in an NBA game.
The former lottery pick set a career-high with 22.1 minutes in the 127-124 loss, scoring 11 points with five rebounds and a decent 19.3% usage rate. The Hornets were forced to run with a tight eight-man rotation that evening, and I doubt James Borrego will alter that plan on Wednesday. However, with Philadelphia at full-strength, I could see a scenario where tonight’s tilt has a more lopsided script than Monday’s affair. If that’s the case, Bouknight could see a few extra minutes and shot attempts in garbage time.
PF/C Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors, $3,300
There’s still a lot of moving parts when it comes to Portland’s injury report. While we know that both Damian Lillard (abdomen) and C.J. McCollum (chest) will be out, Anfernee Simons ($5,200; ankle), Nassir Little ($3,400; ankle) and Ben McLemore ($3,000; hip) are all questionable.
As it pertains to obvious beneficiaries of these injury woes, Norman Powell ($4,800) is the first name that jumps to mind, as he attempted 24 field goals and logged 43.9 minutes in Monday’s loss to the Clippers. However, while Powell is too cheap for his role, his price tag is a little too expensive for this article. So, we move down to Covington, who also saw some heavy action against Los Angeles. However, despite the veteran playing 30.0 minutes, grabbing 10 rebounds and finishing the contest with 25.5 DKFP, Covington’s salary is somehow $300 lower than it was earlier in the week. With Covington’s shot sure to normalize at least a bit — he was 1-for-8 versus the Clippers — it’s hard not to envision the forward reaching 6x or 7x value if Little and McLemore are ruled out this evening.
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PG/SG Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers, $3,800
Here’s how desperate things are getting in Chicago: This morning, when I heard Matt Thomas (health protcols) would be unavailable for tonight’s game, I audibly gasped. Yeah. Matt Thomas. The same Matt Thomas that was forced into 19.1 minutes of action in Monday’s victory over the Nuggets due to the absences of DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, Coby White and Javonte Green. It’s pretty bleak and it’s taking the “next man up” mentality to an extreme place.
Still, that next man up has a name, and it’s Ayo Dosunmu. The rookie logged a career-high 41.9 minutes in that 12-point win over Denver, registering 31.5 DKFP despite a microscopic 10.2% usage rate. Dosunmu, Derrick Jones Jr. ($4,300) and Troy Brown ($3,300) should continue to see heavy workloads in Cleveland on Wednesday, with all likely to reach 5x value out of sheer volume and osmosis.
PG Gabe Vincent, Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $3,800
Obviously, the Heat are dealing with some pretty important injuries, with both Jimmy Butler (tailbone) and Bam Adebayo (thumb) having already been ruled out for tonight’s contest against the Bucks. However, that’s not the ailment that’s catching my eye on Wednesday.
Caleb Martin ($3,700; knee) is questionable to suit up versus Milwaukee. Generally speaking, that wouldn’t be such a notable event, yet Martin logged 31.1 minutes out of necessity in Miami’s loss to Memphis this past Monday. That was a game where Butler was also able to fill 24.9 minutes before leaving with his re-aggravated tailbone issue. That’s a whole lot of minutes to fill if Martin’s eventually unable to go, which could make Vincent a very busy man. Even without an expanded role, Vincent’s been able to exceed 20.0 DKFP in six of his past seven games. Nothing wrong with a high-floor asset like that.
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