LeBron James has missed two straight games for the Lakers due to an ankle injury.
Update, Oct. 26 — James is officially out for the contest, according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell. This is rare for the King, who typically plays through injuries. However, the Lakers are on the first game of a back-to-back set, so it makes sense for them to be cautious with their superstar forward.
Update, Oct. 27 — LeBron James has been ruled out for a second straight game Wednesday night vs. the OKC Thunder. James was held out of Tuesday’s OT win over the San Antonio Spurs. He’ll miss a second straight game, which is a bit concerning this early in the year. The Lakers may just be playing it safe and not experiencing what happened last season. AD is also on the injury report as questionable to play vs. the Thunder with a knee injury.
Update, Oct. 28 — LeBron James is being listed as questionable to play in Friday’s game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers after missing two straight games with an ankle injury.
Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James is questionable to play in Tuesday’s game vs. the San Antonio Spurs due to ankle soreness. Trevor Ariza, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and Wayne Ellington will remain out for the Lakers, who are coming off their first win of the season over the weekend vs. the Memphis Grizzlies.
This is unusual to see LeBron pop up on the injury report this early in the season. He’s had issues with injuries in recent years as he gets older, mostly in his tenure with the Lakers. James missed most of his first season in Los Angeles and almost half of last season due to injuries. This ankle issue popping up early with the team struggling a bit isn’t great news. It does mean a few things for betting and fantasy.
LeBron James injury impact: Fantasy basketball
If James ends up sitting out Tuesday, we could finally get optimal Russell Westbrook for DFS purposes. No James means Westbrook can be the alpha on offense and soak up usage, getting to the basket and doing what he does best — making plays. It’s also a nice boost for Anthony Davis in a good matchup vs. the Spurs, who are coming off a 121-111 loss to the Bucks.
Westbrook will be chalk on DraftKings at $9,000 if James is ruled out. Carmelo Anthony ($5,200) will also be a popular value option coming off 28 points against Memphis while James was healthy. Kent Bazemore ($4,200) and Malik Monk ($4,100) figure to get more minutes and usage on the wing. AD ($9,200) is the GPP play given the matchup and ceiling if James is out.