• The Wizards are an excellent litmus test as to what kind of fan you are.

    If you’re a joyful, optimistic, glass half-full type, you point the Wizards being at or above .500 every year for the past five seasons. They’ve have made the postseason in four of those past five seasons. These seasons have been a blessing compared to the utter misery of the previous five-season stretch dating back to the 2008-2009 season when the team hit rock bottom and only won 19 games. They have a nucleus of three All-Star caliber players who are all 27 years of age or under. That same Big Three happen to be under contract with the team through the 2019-2020 season and possibly beyond, ultimately ensuring that the Wizards’ floor will remain high for the next 2-3 seasons, where outside of LeBron James, anyone could rise up in the Eastern Conference.

    If you’re a miserable, pessimistic, glass half-empty, unbearable cynic, you point to the Wizards never cracking the 50-win plateau in the past five years. Despite making the postseason in four of the past five seasons, they haven’t made it beyond the Conference Semis. This team hasn’t made a single draft pick since 2015. As a result, outside of their Big Three, they only have one player who is a meaningful part of their rotation under the age of 24. And while the Big Three are under contract through the 2019-2020 season, their salaries, along with some other terrible contract decisions, makes the Wizards’ salary cap situation utterly miserable for the next 2-3 seasons. All that this means is that while the floor will remain high, their ceiling is simultaneously right on top of them. They are the panini’s of NBA teams. A pressed sandwich that no one gets excited about, but is ultimately a filling and dependable lunch option.

    Such is life in 2018 for professional basketball in Washington DC, where feelings about the team are as partisan as its lawmaking denizens and the value of the team ultimately lies on exactly where you place the goalposts.

    Editor’s Note: You can check out the rest of our Post-Mortems here.

    Overview

    2016-2017 Record 49-33, 2017-2018 Record 43-39

    You’ll be hard pressed to find a better definition for mediocrity in sports than these Wizards. The Wizards were 13th in the league in Points Scored, 16th in Points Allowed. They were 14th in Offensive Rating, 15th in Defensive Rating. The Wizards were 18th in pace, ultimately abstaining from being either tortoise or hare. The Wizards were 11th in Field Goal Percentage and 12th in True Shooting Percentage. They were both 14th in Free Throws Attempted and Free Throw Percentage. It’s a marvel how remarkably average they were at both getting to the line and making their freebies once they got there.

    Oddly enough, some of the things that they did do well were also mitigated by what they didn’t. The Wizards were third in the league in 3-point percentage while simultaneously being 23rd in the league in 3-point attempts. Usually, when you’re good at something you try to do it more often, but this team didn’t want to subscribe to that mantra. They were in the top half of the league in allowing field goal attempts around the basket, and third-worst in the league in opponent’s field goal percentage from that same distance.

    Mind you that all this was happening as their franchise player, John Wall, missed half the season due to knee issues. It’s easy to simply chalk up the decline in wins as a result of missing their best player, but the stats tell the fuller story. This was an average team with or without him on the court and it’s hard to decipher if that’s an indictment on Wall. The Wizards were 20-21 in games that Wall missed and the team even had a few win streaks in his absence. Clearly not as good as they could be when he is healthy, but not that far of a cry from the 23-18 record when he was active as well.

    One thing that the Wizards were far from mediocre at was team drama. There were rumors of a John Wall and Bradley Beal spat early in the season, but the two of them squashed those stories, which is good considering they’ll more than likely share the locker room for the next three seasons. What definitely wasn’t a rumor was the spat between John Wall and Marcin Gortat that got beefier than an “everybody eats” cattle ranch. The two took snipes at each other through media quotes and while they may have ironed out their issues, Wall made it clear after the season that the team needs to find upgrades from their current big men. And while it’s not beef or drama, Kelly Oubre was very open about his struggles with mental health issues. It’s a very difficult thing for anyone to deal with, let alone a 22-year-old trying to find his shot and his way in the NBA.

    When all was said and done, the Wizards made the postseason despite losing 11 of their last 16 games and still managed to give the top-seeded Raptors enough of a scare to go to six games. They got some great basketball out of Markieff Morris and Tomas Satoransky while John Wall was on the shelf. And while the team regressed as a whole, there’s no reason to think they won’t be competitive again next season provided Wall stays healthy and Beal and Porter keep the gains they have made over the past couple of seasons.

    Coaching

    Scott Brooks is now in his second year of leading the Wizards after being canned from an Oklahoma City Thunder team that underperformed due to a season ending injury to Kevin Durant. Brooks has taken the Wizards to two straight playoff appearances and barring a drastic and unforeseen change between now and October, will be back for a third season.

    Brooks has always had a reputation as an offensive-minded coach and transformed the Wizards into a superb offensive team in his first year with the team. Despite coaching a team with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, Brooks’ Thunder teams tended not move the ball a bunch. In Washington, Brooks has stressed more ball movement and as a result the Wizards in 2016-2017 were a top-10 team in points, field goal percentage, offensive rating, assists, and true shooting. This past season, all of those categories declined with the exception of assists. The ball movement was still there, the shooting was not.

    Therein lies a bit of the problem. Scott Brooks has a bit of a built-in scapegoat for why the team underperformed in his second year. After all, how can you reasonably expect a team to perform as well when its star player misses half the season? All-Star point guards who average 19 points and 10 assists per game don’t just grow on trees. And Brooks isn’t the one physically shooting the basketball. At some point it’s on the players throw the ball through the cylinder and execute.

    That gave all the ammo Brooks need to call out the team effort after a game against the Hornets in January. Oh and then again after a difficult stretch in late March. And there goes Brooks again about selfishness after a loss against the Hawks in April.

    And this is a veteran team, mind you. Kelly Oubre is the one player under 24 so it’s not as if Brooks has to worry about juggling rookies or young breaking players of bad habits through repetition. This team was built to win now and Brooks’ ultimate priority is on preparation. And if you have to keep screaming about inconsistency, perhaps that lack of preparation part plays in. And you can bet that if John Wall plays a full season next year and Brooks is still having fits about focus and preparedness then he’s not going to make it to April of 2019. All of this has the signs of an upcoming make or break season for Brooks as the Wizards head coach and perhaps as an NBA head coach altogether.

    The Players

    John Wall

    ADP: 10/11 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 149/180 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 32/58 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 41

    You would think that a 27-year-old, five-time All-Star, franchise player wouldn’t be at a bit of a career crossroads, but three knee procedures in the span of two years and a history of nagging injury issues and you start to wonder if we haven’t already seen the best of John Wall. After all, we’ve seen what a series of knee injuries could do to someone like Derrick Rose and also Chris Paul. It doesn’t seem like Wall would fall off a cliff this quickly, but after eight years and several injuries, would it be that surprising?

    If you forget the fact that Wall missed half the season, you’d think he’s still peak Wall. All of his per-game stats, including 19.1 PPG, 9.6 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 3.9 TOV, and advanced stats, including 19.1 PER and 29.1% usage rate, are in line with his career numbers. His shooting is still eh at 42 percent but that’s been the case his entire career, only peaking at 45 percent the previous season. He’s still a dynamo with the ball as all the metrics and the tape would indicate. That would all hardly seem cause for alarm, right? Even with the injury risk, Wall has been as safe of a play as a top 10-15 fantasy asset year in and year out and a virtual lock to play in the mid-February Classic.

    So that begs the question, have we already seen the best of John Wall? After eight years in the league, his stats have largely remained unchanged. He plays on a good, but not great Wizards team that is going to be hamstrung by its front office’s ghastly decisions in his prime years. He’s now got the baggage of significant knee issues and a season of locker room drama that will only add more questions and less answers going into the 2018-2019 season. Where is there room in all this for Wall to reach back and put up a season that defies his averages and puts him among the league’s elite and not just its All-Stars? The Wizards know they have a sure thing in him and most fantasy owners will gleefully pull the trigger on him again in the second round, but I can’t imagine either of those parties thinking they’re getting a maximum return on investment instead of just a solid one.

    Bradley Beal

    ADP: 25/30 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 17/21 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 34/38 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 82

    Interestingly enough, it’s the Wizards’ other previously-injury-prone guard who has been proving to be just as valuable to the team as Wall. Beal came just slightly under last year’s breakout season per-game stats in points (22.6), field goal percentage (46%), and 3-pointers (2.4), but added to his rebounding (4.4) and assists (4.5). The huge benefit to fantasy owners was that Beal showed up for all 82. When a ton of NBA stars were dropping like flies this season, Beal’s consistency for fantasy owners was a breath of fresh air. Anyone who gambled and paid for Beal’s hefty price tag after his lone season of star-like production were handsomely rewarded.

    Beal took over the primary ball handling duties while Wall missed two months with his knee injury and kept the same top-40 value in both 8 and 9-cat leagues as he did all season. His assists hit a high of 6.0 per game, but then again, his turnovers also jumped to 3.3 per game. Such is life when you’re asked to do more than you normally do. But Beal still led the team to a five-game win streak and a second three-game win streak once Wall found his way into a long term absence and that is the main reason why people wonder how much better the team is with or without John Wall.

    Beal remains young and settling into his prime which means he’s going to cost a pretty penny once again next season. But with or without a healthy Wall, Beal has all the tools to deliver now that he’s starting to realize his peak and his injury issues are behind him. Not to mention that his shooting percentages from deep and at the line could stand to improve from this season. At only 24, and with much of the leadership responsibility foisted on his shoulders this year, we may not have seen the best of Beal as of yet.

    Otto Porter Jr.

    ADP: 44/43 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 16/26 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 40/21 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 77

    John Wall and Bradley Beal get all the attention and headlines, but Otto Porter Jr. gave his fantasy owners the most bang for their buck this season. OPJ, sure let’s roll with that, OPJ is the type of player that often gets really overlooked in fantasy circles. He does everything well, but nothing great. But when you add up all that he does well the sum of OPJ becomes greater than his parts. If you squint hard enough, you might even see a version of Kawhi Leonard at this stage of his career. Porter is a solid shooter (50% FGP), can knock down 3s (1.8 per game), can board relatively well (6.4 RPG) and plays hard on D (1.5 SPG). It’s not unreasonable to expect that if he can get more looks than his 11.5 FGA per game and more time than his 31.6 minutes per game that his value could soar as did Leonard’s when he got more comfortable from deep.

    Like Beal, Porter was able to maintain his production with or without John Wall. He was a borderline top-20 player when Wall was out from mid-January through late-March and kept that value level throughout the season. It is actually quite a feat. His per-game numbers barely move when Wall was off the court, whereas all the value that Wall took up fell to Beal, Tomas Satoransky and Markieff Morris.  On one hand it’s nice for the Wizards to see that kind of dependability, especially after matching his max extension in the RFA market. On the other, perhaps Scott Brooks and company could find a way to get him the ball a little more.

    OPJ remains a young and talented forward who the team should lean on even more in his prime years. Porter is also going to cost a pretty penny on draft day, but with limited depth behind him on the roster and the chance to have the ball in his hands more often, he could easily meet those lofty expectations.

    Markieff Morris

    ADP: 94/116 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 107/120 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 112/126 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 73

    Here’s where things get tricky with the Wizards. When John Wall is healthy and playing, Markieff Morris is a perfectly fine basketball player. He’s a top-100 to 125ish player who can have some decent scoring and rebounding games, but otherwise isn’t going to overwhelm you. He’s a fine part of your roster, even if you don’t think of him as a starter on a week-to-week basis. Heck, Morris is a guy you think of dropping when some hot name appears on your waiver wire and you don’t want to potentially miss out.

    When John Wall was off the court, Kieff would turn into Otto Porter 2.0. In the two months Wall missed, Kieff was a top-60 player in both 8 and 9-cats. His scoring, field goal percentage, assists and steals were all up without Wall present. If you did a player A and player B comparison between Porter and Morris sans John Wall, there wouldn’t be a single category that would be a dead giveaway to guess who was who.

    So this is begs the question of the Wizards front office and coaching staff, just what the hell do you make of that?  It’s not as if Kieff is a point guard creating his own opportunities and has his minutes limited because he’s playing behind an All-Star. He should theoretically benefit from a player like Wall, who defenses need to scheme against as he looks for open teammates. Morris is about to play on the last year of a fairly reasonable salary and it wouldn’t be that shocking if a team saw what he could do with more opportunities and tried to pry him away this offseason or at the trade deadline. Markieff’s twin brother Marcus became an invaluable piece of a Boston team that was minutes away from a Finals appearance. It’s possible there’s another team that feels similarly about Kieff that aren’t the Wizards. Markieff isn’t a wire-to-wire must-own player, but as you can see in the case without Wall that in the right situation he very well could be.

    Marcin Gortat

    ADP: 90/66 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 126/123 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 183/172 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 82

    Imagine this scenario. LeBron James gets hurt, but the Cavs go on a winning streak and the team is throwing a damn locker room party every night while James is off rehabbing his injury. James gets a little bent about it in an interview and takes offense to a tweet Tristan Thompson made about the team. Instead of seeing Thompson make a comment about how the team stepped up while James was hurt, James interprets it as a shot at his leadership and responds by basically saying, whatever, Thompson would be a garbage player without me.

    Would James be wrong in that scenario? God no. But is he being a jackass for saying it. God yes. Which is why none of those things happened on the Cavs this season and after a hard fought Game 7 against the Celtics, LeBron James made it a point to call out the naysayers who have crapped on his Cavalier teammates to say that he doesn’t get to the Finals without them.

    What transpired above is essentially what happened with John Wall and Marcin Gortat, but without the benefit of a deep playoff run. No, the Wizards were playing golf by late April and John Wall was openly campaigning for a new center in case there was any wonder what the difference was between this Wizards team and the Eastern Conference Champions. You know, other than LeBron being a robot sent to destroy everyone.

    Gortat was one of those perfectly acceptable second centers who could score enough and board enough where fantasy owners don’t mind plugging him in as a starter. That was of course until his scoring nosedived this year and he was being benched for long stretches because of his defense. Gortat has one more year on his deal and there’s a lot to have to patch up for his return to the Wizards to be anything but an ongoing disaster. A change of scenery may help boost Gortat’s value, but there are a ton of centers that merit more consideration for teams when preparing for the 2018-2019 season.

    Tomas Satoransky

    ADP: 140/NA (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 160/159 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 186/180 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 73

    Tomas Satoransky was an afterthought on the Wizards. He wasn’t even the primary backup to John Wall. That job belonged to Tim Frazier. But as you can see in this Wall-themed post-mortem, when Wall went down opportunity for others rose up. Frazier let that chance slip by him due to injuries and ineffectiveness. Satoransky then took the reins and didn’t look back.

    If you were fortunate enough to pick up and play Satoransky while Wall was out, then you got a top-60 player who could have very easily been the difference in your fantasy team making the playoffs. Needless to say that the second-year guard set career-highs across the board, but the two month stretch without Wall was his best as he averaged over 10 points, six assists, four rebounds, a steal and a three per game. Solid contribution all around, but that is going to be unlikely to be repeated with a full season of John Wall. If you do draft Wall and believe in handcuffs, at least now you know who to target late in drafts.

    Kelly Oubre Jr.

    ADP: 140/137 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 101/90 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 154/135 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 81

    What little youth the Wizards had could be found in Kelly Oubre Jr. a dynamic forward who has star-like moments. He also can frustrate the living hell out of everyone with his erratic play on both ends of the court. The Wizards still see big things in Oubre and at only 22-years old, why wouldn’t they. But after three seasons, the offensive and defensive issues haven’t completely ironed out and there’s question as to what the Wizards should do with an extension due for Oubre right around the corner.

    Oubre is a favorite of DFS players given his cheap price tag, his stable minutes and ability to go off from time to time. He’s not the most reliable of players for seasonal leagues though. His shooting regressed terribly and while Morris and Satoransky stepped up in Wall’s absence, Oubre became a 38% shooter from the field. Oubre saw a career high in minutes so he wound up with career highs in points, rebounds, steals, and 3-pointers as well, but nothing he excelled at that would force him into lineups on a regular basis. He’s worth a look in leagues in the hopes that he can improve and make a substantial leap, but most owners would be wise to see some early returns before taking a plunge next season.

    Mike Scott

    ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 225/231 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 273/286 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 76

    Mike Scott got a chunk of minutes as a backup to Porter and Morris and while he had some moments, he’s not nearly enough of a presence to merit a place beyond the deepest of leagues. Scott hasn’t made too many strides from his early days with the Hawks and some of the gains he does make, like making over 40% of his 3-point attempts, is mitigated by what he fails at, like seeing his free throw shooting collapse to 66% after being a 78% shooter from the stripe. Scott is nothing more than a fall back option for the Wizards should they strike out on upgrading their big men further.

    Ian Mahinmi

    ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 225/231 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 273/286 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 77

    Ian Mahinmi will make $16 million a season for the next two years and is one of those cases where nothing makes sense in the NBA universe. In the summer of 2016 when NBA teams started throwing money away like it was covered in dog poop, Mahinmi was the beneficiary of a four-year deal based on a book of work that was less of a bestselling novel than it was a color-by-numbers that some germ-infested child already attacked in the local Barnes and Noble. Never a double digit per-game point scorer or rebounder, the Wizards backup center will get a few minutes to see what he can do a better job of clogging up: space in the paint or the Wizards salary cap.

    Tim Frazier

    ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 273/278 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 311/331 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 59

    Frazier was brought on to be the new backup point guard, part of Washington’s effort to bolster the bench after John Wall complained about the second unit’s ineffectiveness in the postseason. It was a good move at the time, as Frazier was coming off a year where he had a solid run as the starter for New Orleans. Things didn’t quite work out for the Wizards, though, as Satoransky had leapfrogged him by mid-season and never looked back.

    Jodie Meeks

    ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 271/267 (8/9-cat), Per-Game Value: 362/344 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 77

    Much like Frazier, Meeks was supposed to come in and help give the star backcourt some extra minutes off during the regular season while also helping to space the floor. His signing was a bit more successful than Frazier’s since he was able to dodge injury and actually play, but he got popped with a 25-game suspension for violating the anti-drug policy right before the playoffs began.

    Doctor’s Orders

    The Wizards are in a tough spot. They’re a consistent playoff team even if they’re not a real contender for the Eastern Conference, let alone an NBA title. They have three stars locked in for the foreseeable future. As long as John Wall gets in close to a full season next year, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to bounce back from a down year. If they do absolutely nothing this offseason, and there’s a strong chance of that happening, they could sleepwalk into a playoff spot with what they already have. That may not be a recipe for title contention, but ask a fan of the Kings, Magic, or Suns if they’d swap places with this Wizards team and you probably wouldn’t make it to the end of the proposal before they’d say yes.

    But in reality, the NBA will continue to move and the Wizards risk not moving along with them. Boston and Philly are only going to get better. Toronto, even with a new head coach, is going to be fighting for top dog status again. Milwaukee and Indiana with their improving stars in Giannis and Dipo are going to be in the mix. And God help all these teams if LeBron decides to stay in Cleveland. It’s going to take a lot of creativity for the Wizards to find the right pieces to keep up with the Joneses and Jameses given that their salary cap situation is going to be awful. Unfortunately for the Wizards, it’s a very real possibility that even if they were able to dump Ian Mahinmi’s albatross of a contract or Marcin Gortat’s expiring deal, it may also cost them Kelly Oubre or Tomas Satoransky in the process, both of whom the team would ideally look at to try to sign to team-friendly extensions. Armed with only a mid-first rounder, salary cap alchemy and sacrifice might be the only solution to getting the more-athletic big man that John Wall covets.

    Fortunately for the Wizards they may also have a number of options at their disposal that can help them upgrade their big men that could also come at premium value. For example, Greg Monroe likely won’t command a big deal after being traded out of Milwaukee, waived by Phoenix, and futzing around on a Boston team that he was never really a fit for. Jahlil Okafor just needs a team that plays more in the half court and has minutes it can spare. Perhaps Nerlens Noel just needs to get out of Rick Carlisle’s doghouse for good and will do so on a one-year deal to get out and rehab the former top pick’s value.

    Again, if they do nothing and all that happens is John Wall comes back healthy, then it’s already a win-win for the Wizards. It’s not a bad thing to occupy the middle in the NBA, where tanking is fervent and there can only be so many star-loading teams. It can be both enjoyable and maddening to watch a capable team be exactly what everyone is expecting them to be. It just depends on what kind of Wizards fan you want to be.

Fantasy News

  • John Beilein
    , Cleveland Cavaliers

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski, John Beilein is leaving as the Cavs’ coach and J.B. Bickerstaff will be elevated to head coach.

    It’s still not official, but once Woj says it’s happening, it’s happening. A shake-up is likely to be a great thing for this roster that contains at least a few unhappy star players in Kevin Love and Andre Drummond. Be ready to act on any significant role changes that come with this move. For example, will Larry Nance Jr. and/or Kevin Porter Jr. take on expanded roles?

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    Terry Rozier (left knee soreness) practiced in full on Tuesday.

    Rozier missed the Hornet's final game heading into the All-Star break, but it wasn't considered to be a long-term concern. Feel free to get Rozier back into all lineups ahead of Thursday's game against the Bulls.

    Source: Rod Boone on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Coach Terry Stotts said that he wouldn't put a timetable on when star point guard Damian Lillard (right groin strain) would return, but he is expected to be re-evaluated on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Lillard was given a timetable of 1-2 weeks last Wednesday, as the All-Star break came at an ideal time. Lillard has a shot to avoid any missed time if his re-evaluation shows progress, but owners should prepare for a scenario in which he misses a handful of games. The Blazers have five games remaining in February.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Dario Saric
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns expect Dario Saric (left ankle) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    James Jones said that he expects everyone outside ok Frank Kaminsky to be available for Friday's game, meaning Tyler Johnson will be out there as well. While Saric has been out, Mikal Bridges has seen his role expand while Kelly Oubre Jr. has played a lot of PF. Keep an eye on how the rotation shakes out now that the Suns are healthy shakes out.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Aron Baynes
    C, Phoenix Suns

    James Jones said that he expects Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) to be available for Friday's game against the Raptors.

    Baynes will be joining Deandre Ayton and the rest of the injured Suns' players in returning for this one. Baynes hasn't played in roughly a month and should be seeing a minimal role off the bench down the stretch. He can be left on the waiver wire unless something happens to Ayton.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Deandre Ayton
    C, Phoenix Suns

    James Jones said that he expects Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    Ayton missed a few games to close out the first half, but it looks like the second-year big man will be good to go when the Suns return to action. Ayton was putting up top-12/16 per-game value in 9/8 cat leagues in the 13 games before going down, and owners have to be ecstatic to get him back in their lineups. Cheick Diallo will revert to a deep reserve role.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Cody Martin
    PF, Charlotte Hornets

    Cody Martin (concussion protocol) fully participated in Tuesday's practice session.

    Martin found himself in the starting lineup before going down a few weeks ago, as he has started to earn a bigger role in coach James Borrego's rotation. With Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out of the picture, Martin should have a reasonably safe role for the second half of the season.

    Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter

  • Clint Capela
    C, Atlanta Hawks

    Clint Capela (right heel) did not participate in Tuesday's practice.

    Capela doesn't have a specific target date as he continues to fight the heel issue. With Capela out, Dewayne Dedmon will continue to absorb the bulk of minutes at C with Damian Jones backing him up. Over his past four games, Dedmon has averaged 8.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 3.8 blocks and 1.0 trey in 28.3 minutes per game.

    Source: Chris Kirschner on Twitter

  • Otto Porter Jr.
    SF, Chicago Bulls

    Otto Porter Jr. (left foot fracture) returned to Bulls practice on Tuesday.

    Porter added that he felt good and will return to game action when is 100 percent healthy. It was being reported earlier this week that Porter is eyeing a return before the end of the month, and this would be in line with that projection. It is unclear what type of minutes Porter can handle down the stretch, but his versatile skillset makes for an upside stash in fantasy circles.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Wendell Carter Jr.
    C, Chicago Bulls

    Wendell Carter Jr. (right ankle sprain) resumed practicing on Tuesday as he eyes a return to game action.

    Carter is hopeful of playing when the Bulls return to action against the Hornets on Thursday. The Bulls may take a cautious approach and let him get in a few more practices before clearing him, but Carter's arrow is pointing straight up right now. If he is lingering on your league's waiver wire, go grab him.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter