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Los Angeles Lakers

Western Pacific

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will likely be inserted into the starting lineup when the NBA restarts. (Source: Mike Trudell on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Lakers went 17-3 when Caldwell-Pope started in place of Bradley. In those 20 games, Caldwell-Pope averaged 28.1 minutes, 11.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 0.9 steals per game. He will be expected to step up and embrace his increased role. The team is counting on Caldwell-Pope to make a difference.

Updating an earlier report, Lakers guard Rajon Rondo has been diagnosed with a fractured right thumb and is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks. (Source: Shams Charania on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: ESPN's Shams Charania is also reporting that Rondo, 34, will undergo surgery sometime in the near future on his fractured right thumb. The Lakers will now turn to Alex Caruso and Quinn Cook to fill the backup point guard position behind LeBron James for at least the next month and a half. Dion Waiters, who signed with the Lakers shortly before the season was suspended, could also be in line for some run at point guard in Orlando.

Category: Injury Updates

Tania Ganguli is reporting on Twitter that Lakers center Dwight Howard is expected to practice with the team on Sunday. (Source: Tania Ganguli on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Due to the fact that Howard didn't travel to Orlando with the team, he was required to take an additional test. Because of this, the eight-time All-Star was forced to sit out the Lakers first practice in the bubble. Fortunately, it appears he has passed all necessary tests and is expected to practice with the team on Sunday. The 16-year vet recently announced that he would be donating his game checks to his non-profit charity "Breathe Again".

Category: Injury Updates

Tania Ganguli is reporting on Twitter that Lakers forward Danny Green is expected to return to practice on Sunday. (Source: Tania Ganguli on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Green is expected to return to Lakers practice on Sunday along with center Dwight Howard, who was also forced to miss yesterday's practice due to requiring an extra test. A glitch with Green's COVID-19 test forced the 11-year vet to miss the Lakers first practice in Orlando, though it appears the issue has been resolved.

Category: Injury Updates

LeBron James, in referring to the NBA hiatus, said that “It gave me an opportunity to be home and make up a lot of time that I’ve lost over the years because I’ve been playing in this league and striving to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, to ever play this game…so sacrificing my family at times was the most challenging and hardest part of it all.” (Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: With James taking full advantage of what the break had to offer, he returns to the court ready to finish what he and the Lakers started this season. Having time to spend with his family, it seems as if he will be prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally to handle life in the bubble. This combination of preparation should bode well for James, as he looks to continue his MVP level of play come competition time. This season he played in 60 contests and has averaged 34.9 minutes of playing time, 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 10.6 assists, 1.2 steals, and .5 blocks. A fully rested, vested, and motivated LeBron James, may be worth the premium you are going to have to pay to have him in your lineup no matter the price, he is a must-start in every format period.

Quinn Cook, in speaking with Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell, touched on where his mind is as the team gets closer to the “seeding” games, saying, “I’m just thinking about training camp right now. It’s been a while since March since we’ve all been together as a team. I’m looking forward to getting back in the grind with my guys, watching film and working on different stuff in practice, not just the scrimmaging part but the drills, and getting our shots back at a high clip…we’re going to be prepared. Our coaches and leaders will have us prepared. Now it’s just keying on those habits we have, and I don’t think it will take long. It’ll be quick. We’re all locked in. (Source: Los Angeles Lakers on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: With a 5.5-game lead in the West, the Lakers look to continue adding to their momentum as game day approaches. With a lot of depth, Quinn has not seen a significant role in the rotation this season; it is possible, however, that he sees an increase in playing time due to changes within the team’s back-court. This season he has played in a total of 38 contests and has averaged 10.8 minutes of playing time, 4.8 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. His productivity and experience in the playoffs could come in handy for the Lakers later down the line, making him an interesting option for deep-league fantasy play.

C Anthony Davis (elbow) said “one benefit of the layoff between games has been that he is a 100 percent healthy.” (Source: Mike Trudell on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Davis has been able to rest minor injuries he has been dealing with and is feeling great. He underwent minor elbow surgery in March. Davis was also dealing a variety of injuries, which includes a bruised calf, sprained finger and a nagging shoulder injury. The 27-year-old missed eight games due to the injuries, but is now “100 percent healthy.” Davis is an elite fantasy option, averaging 26.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.4 steals across 55 games this season.

Category: Injury Updates

Devontae Cacok was named to both the NBA all-G League first-team and all-rookie team. (Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Two-way forward, Cacok was named to the all-G League first-team and all-rookie team. The undrafted rookie out of North Carolina-Wilmington dominated as he averaged a double-double for the season. In 33 games with the South Bay Lakers, he managed 19.4 points, .8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 11.9 rebounds per game and shot 65.9 percent from the floor and 57.9 percent from the free-throw line. Cacok did not register a game with the Lakers this year; however, with his outstanding play, it would not be surprising if that changed for next season. If Cacok continues his strong play by capitalizing on his strengths of scoring and crashing the boards, a direct pathway into the Lakers rotation could open for this young player, especially as the Lakers continue to define and tighten their front-court. Although his fantasy relevance is zero at this time, he could be worth a look later down the line.

C DeMarcus Cousins (knee) has not ruled out signing with a team and playing in Orlando, per his agent Jeff Schwartz. (Source: Tania Ganguli on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: It was reported that Cousins would focus on rehabbing his torn left ACL and sit out the remainder of the 2019-20 season. He was waived by the Lakers in February and has focused on returning at 100 percent for the 2020-21 campaign. With the conflicted reports, he has not ruled out signing with a franchise and playing in Orlando. If a team does sign Cousins for the remainder of the season, expect the 29-year old to be on a minutes restriction. He averaged 16.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks across 30 games for the Warriors in the 2018-19 season.

Category: Injury Updates

Lakers guard Avery Bradley has told ESPN that he is opting-out of the NBA restart in Orlando for personal reasons. (Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Bradley has a 6-year old son who struggles with respiratory issues, so for the safety of his family he has decided to opt-out of joining the Lakers in the bubble. Bradley was a nice depth piece and solid rotational player for the Lakers and his defensive ability will certainly be missed. Guys like Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajon Rondo will likely pick up some of the minutes vacated by Bradley. Bradley was averaging 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 24 minutes per game this season for the Lakers.

Alex Caruso (hand) is listed as probable for Thursday’s game against the Rockets. (Source: Mark Medina on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Caruso has been dealing with hamstring and hand injuries the last few games, but is expected to suit up on Thursday. He is averaging 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.7 steals across three contests during the month of March.

Category: Injury Updates

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin and Lakers coach Frank Vogel, "it's probably going to be a few games" until recently acquired Dion Waiters sees any game action for the Los Angeles Lakers. (Source: Dave McMenamin - ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: It remains to be seen if Waiters is going to have much of a fantasy impact when he starts playing for the Lakers, but it is no secret that the team could use more production out of the shooting guard spot.

Category: Transactions

Los Angeles Lakers power forward Kyle Kuzma scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and recorded a +10 in plus/minus during 24 productive minutes in a 113-103 victory over the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks.

Fantasy Impact: Kuzma is not starting but still gets plenty of opportunities to contribute. The volume is there, as he attempted 11 shots (including six three-pointers) against Milwaukee. If he could have made a few more shots, it could have been a big game. Kuzma is clearly the top bench option for the Lakers in terms of minutes and could be a decent pick-up in deeper leagues.

Category: Game Recaps

JaVale McGee scored five points (2-5 FG, 0-0 3Pt, 1-2 Ft) with 11 rebounds, three steals and one block over 21 minutes in a 113-103 win on Friday night.

Fantasy Impact: The Lakers center has only been averaging about 7.0 ppg this season and 5.8 rebounds a game but as a starter who plays 20+ minutes, it would be ideal for him to shoot a higher percentage from the field in the future.

Category: Game Recaps

Markieff Morris recorded eight points (3-5 FG, 2-2 3PT), four rebounds, and one assist over 19 minutes off the bench in Thursday's 116-86 win over the Warriors.

Fantasy Impact: Morris's role on the Lakers looks like it'll be significantly different than his role with the Pistons. Over two games Morris has averaged 17 minutes, 6.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, and 0.5 blocks per game. While it's a small sample size, it's tough to imagine much changing on this deep roster with Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma playing Morris's power forward position and ahead of him on the depth chart. In Detroit Morris was averaging 22.2 minutes and 8.6 field goal attempts per game but those days are over. Morris can be safely dropped in all formats as his ceiling has been lowered dramatically.

Category: Game Recaps

Troy Daniels went for two points (1-4 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 0-1 FT), two rebounds and a steal across seven minutes in the Lakers’ 116-86 win over the Warriors on Thursday.

Fantasy Impact: The journeyman guard saw his first NBA action in five games Thursday, logging seven minutes thanks to a 30-point blowout and the absence of LeBron James. On the season, the VCU product has averaged just 4.3 points and 1.2 boards across 11.3 minutes in 40 appearances.

Category: Game Recaps