Kobe Bryant (shoulder) has an appointment with a specialist on Monday, after which he'll decide whether to have surgery or pursue a different treatment option.
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reiterates that so far "everyone has recommended surgery." It's safe to assume that Kobe is done for the season but he's performing his due diligence to explore every rehab possibility, and he and the Lakers should make an official announcement early this week. Assuming he does have rotator cuff surgery, he'd be looking at approximately six months of recovery.
The Mavericks are reportedly "confident" that they'll eventually sign 36-year-old free agent Jermaine O'Neal.
Dallas hopes to sign O'Neal by the All-Star break, according to ESPN.com, and the team is "inching closer to [an] eventual signing." J.O. has suddenly become a coveted asset, as he's also drawn interest from the Cavaliers, Warriors, Blazers and Clippers. His ailing knees won't allow him to play heavy minutes and his eventual whereabouts aren't likely to cause more than a ripple in fantasy leagues.
The Rockets cruised to a win in L.A. on Sunday, with Trevor Ariza chipping in nine points, one 3-pointer, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
He turned the ball over just once but his line was marred by a 3-of-14 mark from the field. Ariza is taking a lofty 61.4 percent of his attempts from downtown this season, which is a double-edged sword for fantasy owners -- 2.3 triples per game are excellent, but they're attached to a 37.4 percent shooter. It's a caveat his owners will happily live with, as he's still returning top-50 value on a season-long basis.
Ryan Kelly struggled in another start for L.A. with two points, one rebound, three assists and one steal in 20 minutes during Sunday's home loss.
Kelly will get an extended audition as a starter and his role is relatively secure with Kobe Bryant (shoulder) out of commission. Whether he'll have any fantasy appeal remains to be seen, however, and nearly all owners should observe him from a safe distance.
Nick Young went scoreless in eight minutes off the Lakers' bench on Sunday, and Byron Scott said afterward that Young looked as though he "didn't want to be here."
There was no swag tonight as Young missed both of his shot attempts and turned the ball over three times in a sloppy performance which led Scott to bench him. L.A.'s rotations are a complete mess and Young doesn't do much beyond scoring on a good night, so owners must brace themselves for some turbulent production.
Jeremy Lin returned to the Lakers' rotation on Sunday with 14 points, six assists and three turnovers off the bench, making 2-of-9 field goals and 10-of-14 free throws.
He attacked the basket throughout his 28 minutes and picked up some cheap production in garbage time, so it's hard to read much into tonight's line. Lin remains a very shaky option now that Jordan Clarkson has usurped the starting PG job from Ronnie Price, but he's at least worth a stash in deep leagues.
Joey Dorsey made a rare start on Sunday with Dwight Howard (ankle) unavailable, notching four points with seven boards, one steal, one block and four personal fouls in 25 minutes.
Tonight's line is a good indication of Dorsey's lack of value, even if Howard's injury forces him to miss more games. Josh Smith (11 points, five boards) and Donatas Motiejunas (eight points, nine boards) are better targets in Dwight's absence.
James Harden ran roughshod over the Lakers' defense in Sunday's road win, scoring 37 points (12-of-20 FGs, 9-of-10 FTs) with four 3-pointers, eight boards, five assists, two steals and six turnovers.
Harden is averaging 37.0 points over Houston's past four games and continues to lead the NBA in scoring at 27.3 points per game, well ahead of LeBron James (26.0), Kevin Durant (25.3), Anthony Davis (24.2), DeMarcus Cousins (24.2) and Carmelo Anthony (24.1). Just get comfortable and enjoy the fireworks.