Player News - Lakers

Date: Team: Pos:

LeBron James (left groin) will miss at least another two games for the Lakers.

He won't be traveling with the team for their two-game road trip, so he's set to miss 13 straight games for the first time in his career. The earliest he would be able to get back out there would be for the Lakers' MLK Day game against Golden State on Monday, but that will depend on how he responds to treatment. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope started ahead of Josh Hart on Tuesday, so it'll be interesting to see if that lineup switch sticks on Thursday.
Source: ESPN
Jan 16 - 8:49 AM

Josh Hart moved to the bench, in favor of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, on Tuesday and played 22 minutes, but hit just 1-of-1 shots for two points, four assists and two steals in a win over the Bulls.

He's trending down in a big way. As if the early move to the bench isn't bad enough, LeBron James is on his way back from a groin injury, and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. Cutting Hart for a hot free agent makes sense, but chances are he'll be relevant again at some point for the Lakers. Hart has struggled with his shot and his game over his last four after getting off to a hot start when LeBron initially went down with his injury on Christmas Day.
Jan 16 - 1:45 AM

JaVale McGee came off the bench behind Tyson Chandler on Tuesday and hit 3-of-10 shots for nine points, four rebounds and three blocks in just 14 minutes.

The benching hurts McGee, but he could be back in the starting lineup before long. He's an elite shot blocker and plays a nice role for the Lakers on most nights, so just sit tight and see what happens if your fantasy team can handle having him come off the bench.
Jan 16 - 1:39 AM

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope moved into the starting lineup over Josh Hart on Tuesday and hit 4-of-11 shots, 1-of-6 3-pointers and 8-of-10 free throws for 17 points, four rebounds, one assist and two steals in 31 minutes.

Hart scored just two points in 22 minutes and if KCP sticks in the starting lineup, he's going to be worth a look in fantasy leagues. He has had some decent games off the bench, as well, and he could be heading back there sooner than later, as LeBron James will be re-evaluated on Wednesday to see when he can return from his groin injury. KCP will be a borderline fantasy player to own once Bron is back in action.
Jan 16 - 1:38 AM

Lonzo Ball hit 8-of-17 shots and three 3-pointers to lead the Lakers with 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals in 38 minutes of Tuesday's 107-100 win over the Bulls.

Despite some poor shooting, Ball has it on cruise control with LeBron James (groin) and Rajon Rondo (hand) sidelined, and is averaging 13 points, 7.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.2 3-pointers on 40 percent shooting over his last five games. Hopefully he's gained some confidence and will be ready to take some of the ball-handling duties away from LeBron upon his return. Even without LeBron, the Lakers have won three of their last five games, in part because of the strong play from Ball, who's now hit 16-of-42 3-pointers in January.
Jan 16 - 1:33 AM

Tyson Chandler started over JaVale McGee on Tuesday and hit 3-of-3 shots and 2-of-4 free throws for eight points, three rebounds, two assists and a block in 26 minutes of a 107-100 win over the Bulls.

Not much of a revenge stat line for Chandler, who started his career in Chicago, while McGee had nine points, four boards and three blocks in just 14 minutes. McGee loses some luster coming off the bench, but Chandler's far from reliable, regardless of his role for the Lakers.
Jan 16 - 1:29 AM

Brandon Ingram hit 7-of-13 shots and 2-of-4 free throws for 16 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a steal in 40 minutes of Tuesday's win over the Bulls.

Ingram's been scoring and assisting well in the absence of LeBron James, averaging 18.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 0.6 steals on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. The sell-high window is open, as LeBron is to be evaluated on Wednesday, and could be nearing a return.
Jan 16 - 1:26 AM

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will replace Josh Hart in the starting lineup on Tuesday vs. the Bulls.

So there will be two changes for the Lakers tonight with Tyson Chandler replacing JaVale McGee at center. KCP and Hart have both been hit-or-miss, so fantasy owners are better off waiting for one of them to separate themselves.
Jan 15 - 7:51 PM

Tyson Chandler is expected to start in place of JaVale McGee on Tuesday vs. the Bulls.

McGee's production has fallen off since his hot start to the season, but Tyson Chandler? It's a strange decision from coach Luke Walton, but he's just grasping at straws with the Lakers coming off a loss to the Cavaliers. Chandler is not an add in fantasy leagues and McGee's owners should sit tight while we see how this plays out.
Jan 15 - 7:46 PM

Luke Walton said he's considering changing his starting lineup for Tuesday's game against the Bulls.

Walton wouldn't say who he's planning on sending back to the second unit, but given how badly Josh Hart has been slumping lately, he's probably the most likely to receive a demotion. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be the more obvious choice to move into the starting five, although Walton has also thrown Michael Beasley out there a few times this year, so we'll just have to wait until closer to tip-off for official word on the L.A. starters.

LeBron James (groin) was spotted getting up some shots at Tuesday's shootaround.

James didn't have much lift on his jumper, but this is the most activity he's done since sustaining the groin injury. He'll be re-evaluated on Wednesday, which is when they'll decide if he'll be cleared to travel to Oklahoma City for Thursday's game. He's out tonight, though, which means more run for Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram seeing a bump in usage.
Jan 15 - 2:34 PM

Rajon Rondo has been cleared to dribble with his surgically-repaired right hand and he will begin traveling with the team.

Rondo underwent surgery on his right ring finger on Dec. 28 and was given a 4-5 week timetable. He's currently at the beginning of Week 3, so he still has a few weeks to go, but he is making progress. There's nothing wrong with stashing him away if you've got an open IR-spot. Lonzo Ball will continue to benefit while he's out.
Jan 14 - 5:01 PM

Kyle Kuzma got hot late on Sunday, finishing a tough home loss vs. Cleveland with 27 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers.

Kuzma scored 16 of his points in the fourth quarter to help L.A. mount a too-little, too-late comeback attempt. He made 10-of-22 field goals but shot just 5-of-9 from the line, while committing four turnovers without any defensive stats. Kuzma's 41-point explosion on Jan. 9 gets all the headlines, but fantasy owners are keenly aware of his inefficiency -- he's shooting 39.8% from the field and 78.4% from the line since LeBron James (groin) got hurt on Christmas Day.
Jan 14 - 12:11 AM

Michael Beasley (right hand) came off the Lakers' bench on Sunday for eight points, one rebound and one steal in seven minutes, making 3-of-7 FGs and 2-of-3 FTs.

X-rays were negative after Beasley got hurt on Friday, and he wasn't even on the Lakers' official injury report for this game. The veteran has been a welcome surprise as an offensive weapon off the bench, averaging 15.0 points with nearly 60% shooting in his previous four games. Unfortunately, his fantasy value is undermined from a few directions -- unsustainable efficiency and the eventual return of LeBron James.
Jan 14 - 12:10 AM

Brandon Ingram made 8-of-14 FGs and 5-of-8 FTs on Sunday, scoring 22 points with seven rebounds, two assists and one 3-pointer in 40 minutes.

Ingram has now scored double-digit points in 31 of his 33 games this season, including eight 20-point performances. Points-league fantasy owners have benefited from LeBron James' absence the past 11 games, with Ingram averaging 18.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 0.9 blocks per game. LeBron's absence hasn't boosted Ingram's efficiency in roto leagues, though, as he's gone 58.5% on 5.9 attempts from the FT line with 3.2 turnovers.
Jan 14 - 12:06 AM

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