Deng won't play Saturday against the Cavaliers due to a sore left Achilles.
After missing Thursday's game due to the ailment, Deng relayed that he was aiming for a return on Christmas Day at Brooklyn, which forecast his absence Saturday. He was able to fit in three games on the Achilles injury, before heading to the bench again, when he recorded 20.3 points (on 46 percent shooting), 6.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and one three-pointer in 37.3 minutes per outing. Because he was able to produce nicely during that stretch, a week of rest should aid in him resuming similar production, if he comes back Wednesday.
12/21/13 - 8:31AM ETMike Conley
: Expected To Start Saturday
Conley (thigh) is expected to start at point guard Saturday in New York.
After sitting out two games due to a thigh contusion, Conley is back in the fold, though it's unclear if his workload will be curbed. However, his presence pushes Jerryd Bayless back to the bench, as Conley faces a Knicks squad forced to trot out Beno Udrih at the point.
12/21/13 - 8:01AM ETBrook Lopez
: Broken Foot, Season Over
Lopez has sustained a broken foot and will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season, the New York Daily News reports.
There was no indication following the Nets' game Friday that Lopez suffered any type of injury, but the fact remains that his season has come to a close. When he was injured earlier in the season, Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans prospered in the frontcourt, which will likely come to pass following the devastating news in Brooklyn.
Waiters (wrist) traveled with the team to Chicago, but his status is still undetermined, the Plain Dealer reports.
Waiters should consequently be considered a game-time decision for the contest against the Bulls. If he's unable to play, expect Jarret Jack, C.J. Miles and Matthew Delladova to see more time on the court.
Carter-Williams (knee) will return and start in Friday's game against the Nets.
Carter-Williams has been cleared for action and will take the start in the backcourt for the Sixers. He may be eased into action in terms of his minutes load in the first game, but he should be clear to return to fantasy lineups.
Irving (illness) is a game-time decision for Friday's game against the Bucks, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Irving missed practice Thursday and is apparently still feeling under the weather Friday morning/afternoon. He can probably play through some degree of illness but will likely shape up as a true game-time decision. A mildly ill Irving is still worth starting in the vast majority of leagues, so fantasy owners may want to check back before Friday's 7:30 PM ET tip-off. Hopefully, some kind of update will be available before the final decision is made during pre-game warmups.
12/20/13 - 9:43AM ETMike Conley
: (Thigh) Expected Back Saturday
Conley (thigh) practiced Friday and is expected to suit up for Saturday's game against the Knicks, barring a setback, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
After missing a pair of games, Conley is tentatively expected to rejoin the starting lineup. His return would presumably push Jerryd Bayless back to the bench and Jamaal Franklin back to the fringe of the rotation. Despite the positive prognosis, Conley's fantasy owners may want to check back at some point prior to Saturday's 12:00 PM ET tip-off.
12/20/13 - 8:41AM ETArron Afflalo
: (Illness) Expected Back Saturday
Afflalo (illness) expects to return for Saturday's game against the Kings, after missing Wednesday's contest due to an issue with his tonsils, the Magic's official site reports.
The issue with his tonsils reportedly affected Afflalo's breathing, which would have made it difficult to play in Wednesday's game. The situation is still worth keeping an eye on, but it sounds as if Afflalo will return to the court Saturday. His presence would presumably push Tobias Harris back to the bench.
12/20/13 - 8:13AM ETJoe Johnson
: (Personal) Game-Time Decision Friday
Johnson (personal) is a game-time decision for Friday's contest in Philadelphia, The Record reports.
Johnson missed practice Thursday, after scoring 57 points over his previous two games. The first of those two games was a matchup against the 76ers, during which Johnson drained an astounding 10 three-pointers, including eight in the third quarter alone. Suffice it to say, Friday's matchup is an excellent one for Johnson, if he plays.
Thursday, December 19
12/19/13 - 8:31PM ETLuol Deng
: Hoping To Return For Christmas
Deng (Achilles) is aiming for a Christmas Day return against the Nets, ESPN Chicago reports.
Deng was able to fight through his Achilles issue for three games, before being scratched from Thursday's lineup. That he's shooting for a Christmas Day return indicates that the Bulls' small forward expects to miss Saturday's game against the Cavs. With Jimmy Butler suffering a sprained ankle Thursday, Chicago could again be left perilously thin on the wing. If Deng and Butler sit Saturday, Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell will both be candidates to top the 35-minute mark.
12/19/13 - 6:26PM ETJimmy Butler
: Sprains Ankle In Thursday's Game
Butler sustained a sprained ankle in Thursday's game against the Thunder and will not return, The Oklahoman reports. He finished the game with three points, one steal, and one block in 17 minutes of action.
Butler had just returned from a toe injury that kept him out for a month. The severity of his sprain is unknown for now, but he had complained that his toe had been in pain recently as well. It isn't looking too good for Butler from a fantasy perspective, and perhaps D.J. Augustin and Mike Dunleavy will be the beneficiaries if he misses time.
Marshall has been signed by the Lakers, Yahoo! Sports reports. He had been averaging 19.7 points and 9.6 assists per game as a member of the Delaware 87ers of the D-League.
Marshall looks to add depth to the Lakers' point guard position, with Steve Nash (general soreness), Kobe Bryant (knee), Steve Blake (elbow), and Jordan Farmar (hamstring) all out for the meantime. The sophomore has yet to make a sustainable impact in the NBA ever since he was drafted with the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. He will have a chance to log sizable minutes in the coming week with the Lakers shorthanded. However, it is too early to push for him as a fantasy pickup in all but the deepest of leagues, as his value won't be predictable until we see court action.
12/19/13 - 5:41PM ETRaymond Felton
: (Hamstring) Could Return As Early As Monday
Felton (hamstring) is targeting a return to the court Monday against the Magic, ESPN New York reports. He had missed the last five games so far, and a return on Monday would put him ahead of schedule from his initial two-to-three week timetable.
Felton has been a massive disappointment this season, averaging just 10.3 points and 5.2 assists despite playing 32 minutes per game so far. He's still worth a roster spot in standard leagues when healthy, but his hamstring injury could be a lingering issue. Consider him a game-time decision on Monday.
12/19/13 - 1:47PM ETManu Ginobili
: (Rest) Will Not Play Thursday
Ginobili (rest) will not play Thursday against the Warriors, the Spurs' official site reports.
Ginobili will sit out the back end of back-to-back games for the Spurs. He is averaging 11.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and one steal in 23.2 minutes per game this season.
12/19/13 - 1:43PM ETTim Duncan
: (Rest) Will Not Play Thursday
Duncan (rest) will not play Thursday against the Warriors, the Spurs' official site reports.
Duncan will get a night off Thursday, as it is the back end of back-to-back games for the Spurs. He is averaging 14.0 points, 9.0 rebound, 3.1 assists and 1.7 blocks in 28.1 minutes per game this season.
12/19/13 - 1:29PM ETSteve Nash
: (Back) Out Four More Weeks
Nash (general soreness) is expected to be out for another four weeks, the LA Times reports.
Nash has been plagued with injuries this season, having only played in six of the Lakers' 25 games thus far. He is averaging 6.7 points and 4.8 assists in 22.5 minutes per game. Xavier Henry will handle the team's point guard duties while Nash, Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake, and Kobe Bryant are out.
Henry will take over the Lakers' point guard duties, the Lakers' official site reports.
With the injuries to Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake, Steve Nash, and now Kobe Bryant, the Lakers will now turn to Henry to handle the point guard duties for the time being. He has averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes per game so far this season.
12/19/13 - 12:55PM ETKobe Bryant
: (Knee) Expected To Miss Six Weeks
Bryant is expected to be out the next six weeks with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, the Lakers' official site reports.
Bryant's absence will be nothing new for the Lakers, as he missed the team's first 19 games of the season. Expect Nick Young and Xavier Henry to see an increase in minutes, with Henry getting most of the minutes at point guard.
12/19/13 - 12:15PM ETLarry Sanders
: (Thumb) Could Return to Practice Soon
Sanders (thumb) has been working out at the Bucks' team facilities, and according to coach Larry Drew, could soon be back in practice, FOX Sports Wisconsin reports.
Sanders was recently cleared for basketball activities, but the Bucks have yet to provide an estimated return date for their starting center. Once he returns to practice and participates in team drills, this timetable will become clearer. Fantasy owners with roster room may want to stash him now, because when healthy, Sanders is a top-tier center option who will rack up blocks and rebounds.
Ilyasova (ankle) will be shut down "for at least the next few games," FOX Sports Wisconsin reports.
Ilyasova played 49 minutes in Wednesday's matchup against the Knicks, but struggled mightily from a shooting standpoint. Bucks' coach Larry Drew partially blames his ankle troubles, calling Ilyasova "a shell of himself" this season. Despite rampant injury issues across the Bucks' roster, it appears as if the team will see it fit to allow Ilyasova to get the rest he needs to get fully healthy. Look for Ekpe Udoh, John Henson and even Miroslav Reduljica to continue to see increased work in his absence.
Carter-Williams (knee) deemed himself "ready to go" for Friday's game against the Nets, the Delaware County Times reports.
Officially, Carter-Williams will be a game-time decision Friday, but it sounds like he's feeling well enough to return to action after missing seven games with a knee injury. The team will make the final call, but Carter-Williams said his pain level is "at a one" on a scale of 1-10.
12/19/13 - 10:43AM ETKyrie Irving
: (Illness) Sits Out Practice Thursday
Irving missed practice Thursday due to illness, FOX Sports Ohio reports.
With Irving under the weather, his status for Friday's game against the Bucks is in question. He may be headed for a game-time call, so fantasy owners will likely want to monitor Irving's status leading up to tipoff.
12/19/13 - 10:15AM ETTy Lawson
: (Flu) Misses Practice Thursday
Lawson (stomach flu) did not practice Thursday.
Just as Lawson seemed to be putting the hamstring injury behind him, he's now come down with a stomach illness. The Nuggets list him as day-to-day, so consider Lawson questionable ahead of Friday's game against the Suns.
12/19/13 - 4:27AM ETDavid Lee
: Takes to the Video
Lee credits studying video footage of himself during a recent mini-slump, noticing a lack of pace and aggressiveness in his game, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Since his video study, he's averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds in the previous six games.
Lee sat down after a four-game stretch, in which he averaged 12.5 points (on 40 percent shooting) and 6.8 rebounds, to see if he could determine what caused the slump. Picking up his pace, running the floor and being more aggressive were his big takeaways from the session. There's still some work to do in order to get back to the All-Star level at which Lee performed last season. He's shooting a career worst 48.9 percent from the field this season and knocked down just 48.5 percent during the recent six-game run of the "good" Lee.
Speights' recent three-game run, in which he's averaging 11 points and six rebounds, has made an impression on teammates and coaches, the San Jose Mercury News reports. "I'm very pleased with the way he's playing right now. With the absence of Jermaine [O'Neal] we needed him to step up his game, and to his credit he has," said coach Mark Jackson.
Speights has been a dud for much of the first quarter of the season, shooting 34.8 percent and getting little run off the bench. He was supposed to replace the minutes Carl Landry gave the Warriors last season. This recent run has given Jackson hope that Speights can consistently spell Andrew Bogut and David Lee.
Iguodala, who returned to the lineup Tuesday night after missing nearly a month with a hamstring injury, said he feels fine the day after playing, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reports.
Iguodala's presence was felt at both ends of the floor in a win over the Pelicans. He played 17 minutes Tuesday and should receive a gradual increase in playing time over the next few games.
12/19/13 - 12:35AM ETJames Harden
: Plays through Injured Ankle
Despite playing well for 36 minutes, Harden told the Houston Chronicle his ankle is still hurting. "It's sore," he said after the game. "I got stepped on early. I decided to play through it and forget about it and ice it after the game. Hopefully, it will start feeling better."
The Rockets play the Pacers on Friday, a game for which they'll need their star guard. That he played Wednesday is a good sign, but check back on his status before game time.