Status updates for Friday's games:
UPDATE: Ricky Rubio (illness) is questionable to play the Lakers on Friday.
Kyrie Irving (illness) didn't practice on Thursday, and he's questionable for Friday's game.
Dion Waiters (wrist tendinitis) is also questionable after missing Thursday's practice.
Ty Lawson (stomach illness) had to go home during practice on Thursday, so he too is questionable to play on Friday.
Rodney Stuckey (shoulder) is questionable to suit up vs. the Bobcats.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (hand) remains out, with a re-evaluation scheduled for Dec. 27.
Joe Johnson (personal) is a game-time decision.
Kevin Garnett (rest) will not play vs. the 76ers on Friday, which makes Andray Blatche an intriguing spot-starter in fantasy leagues (even if he comes off the Nets' bench).
Michael Carter-Williams (knee) is expected to return to action vs. Brooklyn. His conditioning is a question mark, but even if he doesn't play a ton of minutes his return is bad news for Tony Wroten. Head coach Brett Brownsaid Wroten has earned playing time, and his move to the bench will make the bench rotation a bit "tight," but even if Wroten gets 25-30 minutes I'm fine cutting him for a guard who can make free throws. UPDATE: MCW will start on Friday, as expected.
Thaddeus Young should be in the starting lineup and he's not injured, but it's worth pointing out that he has requested a trade from the 76ers, as reported on Thursday by the Sixers' blog LibertyBallers.com. The request was made weeks ago and no trade is imminent, but I would be surprised if he's still in Philly after the trade deadline.
Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) will miss at least a few games as the Bucks have "shut down" their struggling PF to allow his nagging injuries to heal. As I said on Twitter yesterday, I fully support cutting him and moving on. Giannis Antetokounmpo, anyone?
O.J. Mayo(personal) is questionable to return on Friday after the death of his grandmother. UPDATE: Mayo will come off the Bucks' bench on Friday.
Gary Neal (plantar fasciitis) is very iffy to suit up on Friday.
Caron Butler (knee) is expected to play unless he has a last-minute setback.
Michael Beasley (hamstring) has missed six consecutive games and remains day-to-day.
Jeremy Lin (back) is doubtful to return on Friday.
Omer Asik (knee) seems extremely doubtful, though I haven't heard that he's officially ruled out. In case you missed it, the Rockets have suspended trade talks involving Asik and are saying that they're ready to proceed with him on the roster. In all likelihood they're just waiting until the trade deadline approaches and teams are willing to pony up more assets to land Houston's disgruntled center.
Danny Granger (calf) will make his season debut on Friday. He's expected to play 15-20 minutes maximum, and doesn't belong on fantasy rosters in 12-team leagues.
Chase Budinger (knee) practiced on Thursday but it seems unlikely that he'd jump right into action on Friday. His return will be bad news for Corey Brewer's already shaky fantasy value.
One random tidbit to close up shop: the Mavericks' center position appears to be a black hole for fantasy value. Brandan Wright has the most upside, to be sure, but his sterling 19-point debut came in just 19 minutes, and he followed that up with four points, two boards and three blocks in just 13 minutes on Wednesday. DeJuan Blair started and played 19 minutes in that game, Samuel Dalembert did very well in 13 minutes, and even Bernard James slipped in at the end of the rotation. More concerning than the watered-down playing time is what Rick Carlisle had to say after the game. "I think this game is just a microcosm of what our center position is going to have to be," Carlisle said. "It's going to have to be a four-man team that has a mission every night to cover the position; to guard, screen-roll, score the right amount of points and help us get wins." If B-Wright doesn't emerge with a reliable 25+ minutes in the next 1-2 weeks, at least you'll know why: the dreaded platoon.