Los Angeles Lakers Player News: All Positions

News: Ball's ankle is "showing good progress," and the point guard expects to be back on the court in a couple of weeks, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Ball was shut down in early March, though his final game of the season was Jan. 19 against the Rockets. Things seem to be going well in his recovery, and the anticipation is that he'll have essentially a full offseason to work on his game.
News: Caruso generated 12 points (5-16 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 13 assists, seven rebounds, one steal and one block across 41 minutes in the Lakers' 104-101 loss to the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Impact: Caruso put a fitting cap on his late-season fireworks, posting his fifth double-digit scoring effort of the last six games. The second-year guard closes out the campaign with consecutive double-doubles as well, even though he only shot 36.1 percent (13-for-36) in those contests. Caruso didn't become a regular part of the rotation until early March, but he averaged a solid 12.4 points, 4.2 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals across 28 minutes over the final 18 games of the season.
News: Williams finished with 12 points (5-9 FG, 2-2 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals across 29 minutes in the Lakers' 104-101 loss to the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Impact: Williams made good use of his late-season opportunity, finishing off the campaign with four straight double-digit scoring efforts, including two double-doubles. The 23-year-old rookie showed solid promise once he became a regular part of the rotation in early March, making a case for a much more expanded role next season.
News: Muscala delivered 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-7 3Pt), five rebounds, one assist and one block across 35 minutes in the Lakers' 104-101 loss to the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Impact: Muscala posted his second straight 16-point effort to close out the season, flashing his impressive floor-spacing skills once again in the process. Muscala closes out the campaign on fire from behind the arc, as he posted a 48.5 percent success rate over his last six games. The sixth-year veteran initially didn't see much run after being acquired from the 76ers at the deadline, but his late-season surge in opportunity and corresponding production at least give him some momentum heading into free agency this summer.
News: Jones posted 11 points (5-13 FG, 1-2 3Pt), 15 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks across 46 minutes in the Lakers' 104-101 loss to the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Impact: Jones put his second consecutive start to excellent use, checking off every box on the stat sheet while generating his third straight double-digit rebounding performance. The rookie saw at least 25 minutes in each of the last four games of the season, affording him some valuable experience heading into his sophomore campaign.
News: Caldwell-Pope turned in 32 points (11-31 FG, 5-15 3Pt, 5-7 FT), eight assists, five rebounds and one steal across 44 minutes in the Lakers' 104-101 loss to the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Impact: With the Lakers sporting a mile-long list of key absences, Caldwell-Pope once again stepped up as the usage monster for the night. The veteran easily paced all scorers in shot attempts and posted his second straight 32-point effort in the process. KCP also has 23- and 25-point tallies on his April resume, and he's demonstrated excellent late-season scoring upside on multiple occasions when given sufficient minutes. However, the book on Caldwell-Pope remains the same as it always has -- he's a streaky shooter than can always turn in just as bad of a clunker as he can a lights-out effort such as Tuesday's. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether he'll be able to find a starting job elsewhere in the 2019-20 campaign after playing this season on his second consecutive one-year contract with the Lakers.
News: Bullock (neck) is questionable for Tuesday's game against Portland.
Impact: Bullock has missed seven of his team's last nine contests due to a neck issue, and he's now in danger of missing the final regular-season game of the 2018-2019. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jemerrio Jones would likely benefit if Bullock is ruled out prior to tipoff.
News: Kuzma (foot) will remain sidelined for Tuesday's game against Portland.
Impact: Kuzma is on track to miss his sixth straight contest due to tendinitis in his left foot. With the Lakers out of playoff contention, he'll have to wait until next season to take the floor.
News: Muscala provided 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-6 3Pt), eight rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot across 38 minutes in Sunday's 113-109 win over the Jazz.
Impact: When given ample opportunity, Muscala has produced solid numbers since joining the Lakers. What's most impressive from the 6-11 forward is his 3-point shot. He's averaged a career-high average of four attempts per game and is converting them at a clip of almost 40 percent.
News: Jones posted five points (2-5 FG, 1-3 3Pt), 16 rebounds, five assists, two blocked shots and a steal across 38 minutes in Sunday's 113-109 won over the Jazz.
Impact: The rookie from New Mexico State made the most of his starting opportunity in Sunday's win. His skills off the glass were showcased all year with the Lakers' G-League squad, and he's certain to contribute again in L.A.'s final game against Portland. We may see more from Jones in the Summer League as he develops further.
News: McGee produced 22 points (10-16 FG, 0-2 #Pt, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal across 26 minutes in Sunday's 113-109 win over the Jazz.
Impact: Save Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, McGee is the only active player who was on the Lakers roster on day one of the season. The center has been rock-solid among a rag-tag group of newcomers, call-ups and third-unit players as the season draws to a close. The Lakers are likely to land a marquee player in the off-season If the players last name is Davis, McGee may become somewhat expendable, but otherwise, McGee has done more than enough to warrant a starting role next year.
News: Caldwell-Pope turned in 32 points (13-22 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 4-6 FT), six rebounds, six assists and a steal across 42 minutes in Sunday's 113-109 win over the Jazz.
Impact: Caldwell-Pope led the short-handed Lakers to a surprising win in their penultimate game of the season. With a litany of injuries decimating their roster, Caldwell-Pope has remained a steady playmaker throughout. While he was the subject of many trade rumors this season and his future with the team is uncertain moving forward, he'll try to keep things rolling in their final game against Portland on Tuesday.
News: Rondo won't play Tuesday against Utah unless the Lakers run into injury or foul trouble, Bill Oram of The Athletic reports.
Impact: With only two games remaining in the season, the Lakers will hold Rondo out in an effort to give some of the young guys an opportunity to log minutes. Alex Caruso figures to start at point guard yet again.
News: Chandler is not expected to play in Tuesday's game against the Trail Blazers, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: It appears as though Chandler will still be active for Tuesday's regular season finale, and head coach Luke Walton said he will only play the veteran center if Chandler is strongly considering retirement after his final home game in Los Angeles. Regardless, the Lakers will operate with the frontcourt rotation of JaVale McGee, Mike Muscala, Moritz Wagner and Jonathan Williams for one final time Tuesday.
News: Wagner will come off the bench in Sunday's game against the Jazz.
Impact: Wagner has started at power forward for the Lakers since LeBron James was shut down for the season, but after playing just 12 minutes in the team's win over the Clippers on Friday, the rookie will now come off the bench. He'll likely split time in the frontcourt with starter Mike Muscala.
News: Rondo will come off the bench Sunday against Utah.
Impact: The Lakers have elected to insert Alex Caruso into the starting lineup at point guard, allowing Jemerrio Jones to make his first career start at shooting guard. Rondo logged 37 minutes and notched a double-double in his squad's last matchup Friday against the Clippers, so he could still see a solid chunk of minutes off the bench.
News: Muscala will start at power forward in Sunday's game against the Jazz.
Impact: Moritz Wagner had started each of the last four games since LeBron James was shut down for the rest of the season, but the Lakers have elected to switch things up and play the veteran Muscala in the starting five instead. Still, expect Muscala to play his typical dosage of around 20-to-25 minutes Sunday.
News: Jones will start at shooting guard Sunday against the Jazz.
Impact: With the Lakers season all but over, Jones will get a shot to show what he can do with the first unit. He's logged 25-plus minutes in each of his previous two contests and should have a chance to do so again Sunday night.
News: Bullock (neck) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against Utah.
Impact: Bullock will remain on the bench for the third straight contest while dealing with neck soreness. He figures to be a game-time call for the Lakers' final regular-season game Tuesday against Portland.
News: Bullock (neck) is questionable for Sunday's matchup against Utah.
Impact: Bullock has missed the past two contests due to neck stiffness, and it's possible he'll sit out again. If that's the case, he'll have just one more shot at playing before the season is over.
News: Kuzma (foot) is out Sunday against the Jazz.
Impact: Kuzma will be out for a fifth straight contest as he manages left foot tendinitis. He'll have just one more chance to take the court this season.
News: McGee totaled 18 points (9-12 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 0-2 FT), 10 rebounds and three blocks across 26 minutes in the Lakers' win over the Clippers on Friday.
Impact: McGee turned in another double-double and swatted three shots in Friday's win. Over his last nine games, McGee has averaged 17.2 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.9 blocks, making him an appealing daily option with an affordable price point.
News: Rondo totaled 15 points (6-16 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 0-1 FT), 12 assists and six rebounds across 37 minutes in the Lakers' win over the Clippers on Friday.
Impact: Rondo had another strong showing, producing a double-double with 12 helpers. Over his last five games, Rondo has averaged a double-double with 13.0 points, 10.4 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals. He'll look to keep up his productive stat lines over the final two games of the season.
News: Caldwell-Pope totaled 25 points (9-25 FG, 5-14 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, four assists and two steals across 40 minutes in the Lakers' win over the Clippers on Friday.
Impact: Caldwell-Pope had a productive game in Friday's surprise win, registering 25 points and a healthy final stat line. With injuries piling up, Caldwell-Pope has taken on an expanded workload for the Lakers, averaging 19.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 32.7 minutes over the last 10 games.
News: Caruso finished with 32 points (10-19 FG, 5-7 3Pt, 7-7 FT), 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block across 38 minutes in the Lakers' win over the Clippers on Friday.
Impact: Caruso poured in a career-high 32 points in Friday's win, finishing with a double-double and piling up an impressive final stat line. He's been given nearly 27 minutes per game over the last 13 games, and he's delivered some great performances in that time. Expect him to stay heavily involved as the Lakers close out the season with just two games remaining on the schedule.
News: Bullock (neck) is unavailable for Friday's game against the Clippers, Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.com reports.
Impact: Bullock will miss his second straight matchup due to neck soreness. His next chance to return will come Sunday against Utah.
News: Kuma (foot) will not play in Friday's contest against the Clippers, Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.com reports.
Impact: Kuzma's absence will mark his fourth consecutive game missed. His minutes again figure to be spread out between Moritz Wagner, Mike Muscala, and Johnathan Williams in some fashion. His next chance to return will be Sunday versus the Jazz.
News: Bullock (neck) is listed as questionable for Friday's game against the Clippers.
Impact: Bullock was a late addition to the injury report for Thursday's game against Golden State and was ruled out after being considered questionable. Look for Bullock to yet again be a game-time decision Friday while he continues to nurse a stiff neck.
News: Kuzma (foot) is listed as questionable for Friday's game against the Clippers.
Impact: Kuzma has missed the last five outings with tendinitis in his left foot, and the Lakers still have no reason to rush the young man back into action. Kuzma, however, will likely end up being a game-time decision Friday night.
News: McGee furnished eight points (4-8 FG), 13 rebounds, one assist and three blocks across 21 minutes in the Lakers' 108-90 loss to the Warriors on Thursday.
Impact: McGee was more subdued on the offensive end than in recent games, but he still managed at least a 50.0 percent success rate from the field for the fourth straight contest. Moreover, the veteran generated what was his seventh double-digit rebounding effort of the last nine games while logging multiple swats for the seventh time during that span as well. With the Lakers missing multiple front-line players the rest of the way, McGee figures to continue holding down a sizable role for the last three games of the campaign.
News: Muscala registered 11 points (4-8 FG, 3-5 3Pt), six rebounds, two assists and one steal across 24 minutes in the Lakers' 108-90 loss to the Warriors on Thursday.
Impact: Muscala saw solid run off the bench for the third straight game, which led to a third consecutive double-digit scoring tally. The sixth-year veteran's minutes were at their highest point since his final game with the 76ers on Feb. 5, and his tallies in both points and rebounds were his best since a Jan. 29 game against the same Lakers squad he's now part of. With Kyle Kuzma (foot) potentially sitting for the Lakers' final three games, Muscala could be in for similar opportunity to Thursday's during those contests.
News: Rondo supplied 12 points (5-15 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 0-2 FT), four rebounds, two assists and two steals across 29 minutes in the Lakers' 108-90 loss to the Warriors on Thursday.
Impact: Rondo wasn't at his sharpest offensively, although he did enjoy some elevated usage due to the slew of absences on the first unit. Rondo has taken double-digit shot attempts in each of the three games Kyle Kuzma (foot) has currently missed and has produced double-digit scoring efforts in two of those contests. The veteran point guard has logged over 30 minutes in a pair of those games as well, and he should continue seeing a robust allotment of playing time for the final three games of the campaign.
News: Wagner produced 12 points (4-9 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 5-5 FT), six rebounds, two assists and one block across 25 minutes in the Lakers' 108-90 loss to the Warriors on Thursday.
Impact: Wagner drew the starting assignment with Kyle Kuzma (foot) sidelined for a third straight game and turned in a solid all-around line. The rookie has seen at least Thursday's 25-minute allotment in the three games Kuzma has missed with his current injury, and Wagner has generated double-digit scoring in the last two. With Kuzma potentially set to miss the remaining three games of the season, Wagner could well continue in the starting five over what remains of the campaign.
News: Williams tallied 17 points (8-14 FG, 1-3 FT), 13 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block across 27 minutes in the Lakers' 108-90 loss to the Warriors on Thursday.
Impact: Williams co-led the second unit in minutes and turned in a fine performance, setting a new career high in rebounds in the process. The 23-year-old rookie is one of several players benefiting from the Lakers' slew of injuries and player shutdowns, as he's now logged over 20 minutes in three of the past five games. With Kyle Kuzma (foot) potentially sitting over the final three games, Williams could be in line for similar opportunity to Thursday's for what remains of the season.
News: Stephenson will come off the bench Thursday night against Golden State.
Impact: Stephenson will serve as a reserve after starting three of the last four contests for the Lakers. Alex Caruso enters the starting lineup at shooting guard while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope gets the nod at small forward.
News: Caruso is starting Thursday's game against Golden State.
Impact: Caruso scored 15 points in Tuesday's matchup, and his excellent play evidently earned him a place in the starting lineup. He'll start alongside Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Moritz Wagner and JaVale McGee.
News: Chandler (illness) will play Thursday against the Warriors, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
Impact: Chandler has missed the last five matchups while dealing with the flu, but he's feeling better and has been cleared for action. He's averaging just 1.4 points and 3.0 boards over his previous five games.
News: Bullock (neck) won't play Thursday against Golden State, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
Impact: Bullock was slapped with a questionable tag just a few hours before tip, and he's now been ruled out. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson could see more minutes as a result.
News: Bullock is questionable for Thursday's game against Golden State due to a stiff neck, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
Impact: Bullock was a late addition to the injury report, and his status likely won't be cleared up until right before tipoff. He's come off the bench for the Lakers in each of the previous two contests.
News: Kuzma (foot) is out for Thursday's game against Golden State, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Kuzma will miss his third straight matchup while nursing tendinitis in his foot. At this point, it wouldn't make sense for the Lakers to rush him back into action with nothing to play for, so he may not play the rest of the year. Los Angeles has three contests remaining on the docket following Thursday's tilt.
News: Kuzma (ankle) is questionable Thursday against the Warriors.
Impact: Kuzma has missed the past two games due to ankle tendinitis, prompting Moritz Wagner to draw starts. Kuzma's status may be updated after pregame activities.
News: Chandler (illness) is questionable Thursday against the Warriors.
Impact: Chandler has the flu, and it's prevented him from playing across the past five games. More information on his status may arrive as he goes through pregame activities.
News: Wagner recorded 10 points (4-9 FG, 2-4 3Pt), four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block in 26 minutes during Tuesday's 119-103 loss to the Thunder.
Impact: Wagner drew his second straight start (and third of the season) while reaching double figures in scoring for the third time in the last five games. The fit in the starting five next to JaVale McGee is less than ideal, but Wagner is at least getting a chance to contribute down the stretch of the regular season. With that being said, he's still likely best reserved for use in deeper leagues.
News: Caldwell-Pope collected 23 points (9-16 FG, 5-10 3Pt), five rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 40 minutes during Tuesday's 119-103 loss to the Thunder.
Impact: Caldwell-Pope canned at least five threes while scoring at least 20 points for the fourth time in the last eight contests. After basically being an afterthought across most fantasy leagues for the majority of the season, Caldwell-Pope has come on strong lately for the injury-riddled Lakers.
News: Muscala managed 10 points (3-7 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three rebounds, and one assist in 19 minutes during Tuesday's 119-103 loss to the Thunder.
Impact: Muscala reached double figures in scoring for the second straight bout, this after failing to do so in his first 11 games as a Laker. Given that he hasn't earned 20 minutes in a single game since joining the team, Muscala is only viable in the deepest leagues.
News: Bullock totaled 13 points (5-10 FG, 3-7 3Pt), three rebounds, and one steal in 30 minutes during Tuesday's 119-103 loss to the Thunder.
Impact: Bullock (foot) had been considered probable but ultimately gave it a go and earned the third-most minutes on the team. He isn't the flashiest option for fantasy purposes, but he's still worthy of consideration in deeper formats thanks to his high minute totals and three-point shooting ability.
News: Kuzma (ankle) is inactive for Tuesday's game at Oklahoma City, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: With the Lakers officially eliminated from 2019 NBA Playoffs, there's no reason for the team to play the ailing Kuzma, who will be reevaluated when the team returns to Los Angeles. With Kuzma out for a second straight contest -- and perhaps longer -- it's likely that the Lakers will rely on Moritz Wagner and Mike Muscala to fill in at forward down the stretch.
News: Bullock is considered probable for Tuesday's game against Oklahoma City due to right plantar fasciitis.
Impact: Bullock logged 23 minutes in Sunday's contest after missing four straight games with the same issue, so this designation is likely a precaution. Expect the North Carolina product to gain clearance closer to tipoff.
News: Kuzma (ankle) is questionable for Tuesday's game against Oklahoma City, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Impact: Kuzma was sidelined for Sunday's matchup with New Orleans, and he's in danger of missing two straight games after being tagged as questionable for Tuesday. The team should know more about his availability following morning shootaround.
News: Chandler (illness) has been ruled out for Tuesday's game against Oklahoma City, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Impact: Chandler is on track to miss his fifth straight contest due to illness, and it remains to be seen whether he'll play again this season. His next opportunity to return will come Thursday against Golden State.
News: Caruso busted out for 23 points (7-11 FG, 4-4 3Pt, 5-6 FT) and added six assists, four steals and three rebounds across 29 minutes off the bench Sunday in the Lakers' 130-102 win over the Pelicans.
Impact: After a string of quality performances in mid-March, Caruso's numbers had been trending down for the past four games before he erupted Sunday. In addition to leading the Los Angeles bench in scoring, Caruso was a pest defensively and finished second on the team in assists. There's likely to be some volatility with Caruso stat lines as the season winds down, but with four guard/wing types in LeBron James (groin), Lonzo Ball (ankle), Brandon Ingram (shoulder) and Josh Hart (knee) all shut down, the Texas A&M product should be in store for a 20-plus-minute role the rest of the way.
News: Bullock (foot) has been cleared to play Sunday against New Orleans.
Impact: Bullock has missed the last four matchups due to plantar fasciitis, but he'll return to the court and is slated to come off the bench Sunday. Considering the Lakers massive injury list, expect Bullock to log a solid chunk of minutes.
News: Kuzma is out for Sunday's game against New Orleans, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Kuzma was initially listed as doubtful due to ankle tendinitis, so it's no surprise that he's been ruled out for the contest. There's no need for the Lakers to push him down the stretch after being eliminated from postseason contention, and he'll be considered a game-time call heading into Tuesday's clash with Oklahoma City.
News: Wagner will draw the start Sunday against the Pelicans if Kyle Kuzma is unable to play, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
Impact: Kyle Kuzma is currently listed as doubtful, and coach Luke Walton said he doesn't expect Kuzma to play, so it seems likely that Wagner will join the starters. Wagner is averaging 12.0 minutes over his last four games, however a move into the starting five would likely lead to a larger role.
News: Stephenson will start in Sunday's game against the Pelicans, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
Impact: Stephenson's move into the starting five comes in place of Lebron James, who has been shut down for the remainder of the season. This move could last for the remaining five games. Stephenson is averaging 27.3 minutes per game over his last four games, and could see an even larger role with the starters.
News: Kuzma is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Pelicans with ankle tendinitis, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: It's unclear how severe the injury is or when it occurred. A final call on his status should come out closer to tip-off, however it doesn't seem likely that Kuzma will play. If he is forced to miss the game, Moritz Wagner and Mike Muscala should see larger roles.
News: Bullock (foot) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Pelicans, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Bullock has missed the past four games as he continues to deal with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. More information should come out on his status closer to tip-off. If he is forced to miss the game, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson should see larger roles.
News: Chandler (illness) has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Pelicans, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Chandler will miss his fourth consecutive game as he continues to deal with an illness. His next opportunity to play will be Tuesday against the Thunder, and he should be considered questionable for that game at this time. In his absence, JaVale McGee and Moritz Wagner should see larger roles.
News: James (groin) will miss the remaining six games of the season, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: The decision, as relayed by Magic Johnson was made in order to allow James to fully rehab from the groin injury he suffered in late December. It's not entirely surprising considering the Lakers have firmly been eliminated from playoff contention and only have six remaining games. Look for Moritz Wagner, Mike Muscala and newly-signed Jemerrio Jones to fill the void caused by James' absence.
News: Jones inked a two-year deal with the Lakers on Friday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Jones will join the Lakers for the remainder of the season and have a team option for the 2019-2020 season per the terms of his contract. The New Mexico State product had been averaging 9.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in his rookie year for the Lakers G-League affiliate.
News: Stephenson compiled 14 points (5-9 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 1-2 FT), and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes during Friday's 129-115 victory over Charlotte.
Impact: Stephenson delivered 14 points and 13 rebounds in Friday's win but added no other stats in a very one-dimensional line. There is no need to get overly excited here with a performance such as this to be expected of the enigmatic Stephenson. The Lakers are down on troops and owners in deeper formats could pay some attention but he is typically too hard to trust.
News: Rondo amassed just seven points but added 17 assists, six rebounds, and five steals in 35 minutes during Friday's 129-115 victory over the Hornets.
Impact: Rondo turned in a vintage performance Friday, dishing out a season-high 17 assists to go with a season-high five steals. His playing time has been up and down over the past week, however, his assist numbers remain consistent. Over his last six games, he is averaging 9.4 dimes and 2.0 steals. There are a number of players out for the Lakers and Rondo should continue to see decent minutes, if only by default.
News: Caldwell-Pope totaled 25 points (8-14 FG, 6-10 3Pt, 3-3 FT), four rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 33 minutes during Friday's 129-115 victory over Charlotte.
Impact: Caldwell-Pope's late-season emergence continued Friday as he poured in 25 points including six triples. He has scored in double-digits in six of his last eight games, including three games of at least 25 points. The Lakers have a number of players out for the remainder of the season and Caldwell-Pope appears as though he is going to figure heavily in their offense down the stretch. As he has demonstrated over the past two weeks, there are going to be some bumps in the road. That being said, he needs to be rostered in all formats and could be a difference maker in many head-to-head battles.
News: James ended with 27 points (11-19 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 1-2 FT), nine assists, and three rebounds in 32 minutes during Friday's 129-115 victory over the Hornets.
Impact: James returned to action Friday after missing the previous game due to rest. This is going to be the story for the remainder of the season as the Lakers give their young players additional playing time. Whenever James is on the floor he is going to put up big numbers which makes him a hard player to drop. The Lakers have four games next week including a back-to-back set to end the week, meaning James will likely miss at least one game.
News: Muscala (ankle) is available to play Friday against the Hornets, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Muscala hasn't taken the court since Mar. 19 due to tendinitis in his ankle, but he's been given the green light for Friday's clash. He hasn't made much of an impact off the bench even when healthy, averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds over his previous five matchups.
News: James (rest) is available and will start Friday against the Hornets, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: As expected, James will take the court Friday night. Mike Muscala (ankle) has also been given the green light to return.
News: James (rest) is probable for Friday's game against the Hornets, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet reports.
Impact: James was held out of Wednesday's clash due to rest purposes, but the superstar should be back in action Friday. He's been on a tear over his last five matchups, averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 assists and 7.4 boards.
News: Chandler (illness) is considered questionable for Friday's game against the Hornets.
Impact: Chandler has missed the Lakers' last two games due to illness but his questionable status is a positive sign. If he's ultimately held out or limited Friday look for JaVale McGee and Moritz Wagner to again see some extra minutes.
News: Muscala is listed as probable for Friday's game against Charlotte.
Impact: The Lakers were optimistic about Muscala's chance of playing Wednesday against Utah, but he ultimately failed to check into the contest. He should have a good shot at taking the court Friday, although likely in a limited capacity. Muscala is averaging a mere 1.2 points and 1.6 boards over his previous five matchups.
News: Bullock (foot) will be a game-time decision for Friday's game against Charlotte.
Impact: Bullock was listed as questionable for Wednesday's tilt with Utah, but he failed to play due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The Lakers should get a better feel for his status following Friday morning's shootaround.
News: Hart (knee) had season-ending knee surgery Thursday to address an issue with his right patellar tendon, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Hart has been bothered by the knee for much of the season, and while he attempted to play through the discomfort, his effectiveness clearly waned. The Villanova product had already missed the last four games, and he'll now face a fairly lengthy recovery process of around 12 weeks. Expect Hart to return to basketball activities sometime in June and be fully ready for the start of the 2019-20 season.
News: Kuzma produced 21 points (8-18 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 3-4 FT), two rebounds, and two blocks in 31 minutes during Wednesday's 115-100 loss to Utah.
Impact: Kuzma led the Lakers with 21 points in Wednesday's loss, his seventh consecutive game with double-digit scoring. Kuzma has continued to put up points on a regular basis but contributes very little outside of scoring and occasional rebounds. He remains a solid enough standard league option but his name typically outweighs his actual value.
News: McGee amassed 16 points (7-15 FG, 2-2 FT), 13 rebounds, two blocks, and one assist in 30 minutes during Wednesday's 115-100 loss to the Jazz.
Impact: McGee was a bright spot for the Lakers on Wednesday, continuing to put up impressive numbers during what has been a stellar late-season resurgence. His playing time had been trending down but that has reversed course over the past couple of weeks. Those lucky enough to snap him up off waivers are certainly reaping the benefits and the playing time looks set to continue moving forward.
News: Stephenson finished with 10 points (3-11 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five assists, two rebounds, and two steals in 30 minutes during Wednesday's 115-100 loss to Utah.
Impact: Stephenson moved into the starting lineup Wednesday, replacing LeBron James (rest) who was riding the pine. Stephenson scored just 10 points but was able to somewhat salvage the line with five assists and two steals. Even on night's he plays decent minutes, Stephenson is typically too hard to trust even as a streaming option. He can be left on the waivers in all competitive formats.
News: Stephenson will draw the start Wednesday against the Jazz, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
Impact: With the Lakers dealing with numerous injuries, Stephenson will fill a void in the starting five. He's seen 25 minutes each in his past two contests, averaging 7.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in those contests.
News: Muscala (ankle) is expected to play in Wednesday's game against the Jazz, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
Impact: Muscala has missed the past three games with an ankle injury, however he is set to return Wednesday. Since March 1, Muscala is averaging 9.1 minutes per game, so his return shouldn't have too much of an effect on the rotation. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, he should be good to go.
News: Chandler (illness) is listed as out for Thursday's game against the Jazz.
Impact: Chandler is still dealing with the flu-like symptoms that kept him sidelined for Tuesday's game against Washington. JaVale McGee will once again shoulder majority of minutes at center while Moritz Wagner fills in off the bench.
News: Hart (knee) is listed as out for Wednesday's game against the Jazz.
Impact: This will be Hart's fourth straight absence while he nurses tendinitis in his right knee, and there has been no indication that Hart is close to making his return. However, with the Lakers not providing any updates on his health, he will continue to be evaluated on a game-by-game basis.
News: Bullock (foot) is listed as questionable for Wednesday's game against the Jazz.
Impact: Bullock has missed the last two games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, and he will likely end up being a game-time decision Wednesday night. If he's unable to play, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be in line for his third straight start at shooting guard.
News: James will sit out Wednesday's contest against the Jazz.
Impact: With the Lakers on the second half of a back-to-back set, James will opt to rest up. In his place, Kyle Kuzma and Mo Wagner are candidates to see expanded roles.
News: Wagner mustered 11 points (4-5 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 3-4 FT), two assists, one rebound and one block across 12 minutes in the Lakers' 124-106 win over the Wizards on Tuesday.
Impact: Wagner made good use of his limited time on the floor, even as he quickly accrued four fouls. The rookie's playing time has ticked up this month with the Lakers out of postseason contention, as he's now logged double-digit minutes in six games during March. However, his opportunities continue to be unpredictable, and with veteran JaVale McGee generating outstanding production ahead of him, that could well remain the case even during the last handful of games.
News: Kuzma managed 15 points (5-15 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT), four rebounds and one steal across 30 minutes in the Lakers' 124-106 win over the Wizards on Tuesday.
Impact: Kuzma was far from efficient overall, but his final line was serviceable with the help of his one three-point shot and a perfect night from the free-throw line. The 23-year-old has actually been scuffling from the field of late, as he's now shot Tuesday's 33.3 percent or worse in three of the last four games. However, Kuzma's aggressive nature -- he's taken no fewer than 14 shot attempts in six straight -- continues to help him turn in strong scoring contributions nearly every time he takes the floor.
News: McGee totaled 20 points (9-11 FG, 2-3 FT), 15 rebounds, two assists, four blocks and two steals across 32 minutes in the Lakers' 124-106 win over the Wizards on Tuesday.
Impact: McGee's late-season surge has been a blessing for fantasy owners at a critical juncture of their season. The 31-year-old has been nothing short of dominant in his last three games, beginning with his memorable 33-point, 20-rebound double-double against the Nets last Friday that also included six blocks. McGee has followed that up with averages of 18.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 4.5 blocks and 1.5 steals over the subsequent pair of contests while logging just over 30 minutes across the two games. Whether his playing time will be tapered down over the final two weeks of the season remains to be seen, but McGee's current level of production temporarily vaults him into elite status across all formats.
News: James (knee) registered 23 points (11-20 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 0-2 FT), 14 assists, seven rebounds and one steal across 34 minutes in the Lakers' 124-106 win over the Wizards on Tuesday.
Impact: James had been listed on the injury report for what appears to simply have been precautionary reasons, but he offered another signature stat line by the time the night was said and done. The future Hall of Famer's minutes weren't capped in any appreciable sense, either, as they checked in second on the starting five to the 39 logged by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and fell in line with the mid-30s allotment he's been seeing for most of March. James has now generated a double-double at minimum in three straight games and is averaging 29.2 points (on 50.0 percent shooting), 9.8 assists and 8.0 rebounds across 35.2 minutes across 11 games during the month.
News: Caldwell-Pope supplied 29 points (10-17 FG, 6-12 3Pt, 3-3 FT), five rebounds, one assist and two steals across 36 minutes in the Lakers' 124-106 win over the Wizards on Tuesday.
Impact: Lakers fans are probably wondering where this current version of KCP has been most of the season, as the veteran has suddenly come to life in the latter stages of March. The streaky Caldwell-Pope has six double-digit scoring efforts in the last eight games, although his nine- and seven-point tallies in the two contests during that sample in which he failed to accomplish the feat embody the inconsistency that's inherent in his game. Caldwell-Pope shot a combined 9-for-26 in that pair of games, a reminder of the sudden downturns his offense can take.
News: Chandler (illness) is out Tuesday against the Wizards Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Chandler is too sick to participate Tuesday. Mike Muscala (ankle) and Moritz Wagner could replace some of Chandler's workload.
News: Chandler will be a game-time decision for Tuesday's game against the Wizards, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Chandler was a late addition to the injury report, although it remains unclear as to what kind of issue he's dealing with. He missed time at the beginning of March due to neck soreness, so it's possible he's nursing a similar injury.
News: Bullock (foot) won't take the court Tuesday against the Wizards, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Bullock was initially listed as questionable for Tuesday's clash, but he evidently didn't fare well in morning shootaround and is slated to miss his second consecutive game. With Josh Hart (knee) also out, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope appears in line for the start at shooting guard.
News: James (knee) will play Tuesday against Washington, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: James was likely tagged as probable as a precaution, so it's no shock that he's been given the green light. The former MVP is averaging 30.4 points, 8.6 assists and 8.0 rebounds over his previous five matchups.
News: Bullock (foot) is listed as questionable for Tuesday's game against the Wizards, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Bullock missed the previous game due to plantar fasciitis that he's continuing to deal with. In his absence, Lance Stephenson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should see extended roles. More information on his status should come out following the team's morning activities on Tuesday.
News: Muscala (ankle) is questionable for Tuesday's game against the Wizards, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Muscala has missed the last two matchups due to a right ankle injury, and his status remains up in the air for Tuesday's clash. The Lakers should have a better idea on his availability following morning shootaround.
News: James (knee) is listed as probable for Tuesday's game against Washington, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: James has been playing through a minor knee issue, so the Lakers appear to have listed him as probable simply as a precaution. His knee failed to slow him down in Sunday's clash with the Kings, scoring 29 points and recording 11 rebounds along with 11 assists, two steals and a block over 35 minutes.
News: Hart (knee) won't play Tuesday against Washington, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Hart is on track to miss his third straight contest due to tendinitis in his right knee, and the Lakers are unlikely to rush him back considering they've already been eliminated from the playoffs. His next chance to play will come Wednesday against Utah.
News: Stephenson (toe) delivered eight points (3-4 FG, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds and three assists across 25 minutes in the Lakers' 111-106 win over the Kings on Sunday.
Impact: Stephenson had been available to play for the first time since March 6 on Friday versus the Nets, but he ultimately didn't see the floor. Sunday's contest thus marked his official return to action, and he generated a typical stat line in his second-unit role. It was encouraging to see Stephenson jump right back into a normal allotment of minutes, and he could see similar opportunity down the stretch as the Lakers play out the string.
News: Caldwell-Pope registered 16 points (5-15 FG, 4-12 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds and four assists across 33 minutes in the Lakers' 111-106 win over the Kings on Sunday.
Impact: KCP drew the start at two-guard and made good use of the opportunity, churning out his fourth double-digit scoring effort in the last five games. The veteran is enjoying one of his more productive stretches of play this season at the moment, and he's logged at least 22 minutes in seven consecutive games. Caldwell-Pope is nothing if not a streaky shooter, however, so he remains difficult to trust on a game-to-game basis.
News: McGee totaled 17 points (8-8 FG, 1-2 FT), 14 rebounds, five blocks and one steal across 29 minutes in the Lakers' 111-106 win over the Kings on Sunday.
Impact: McGee demonstrated that he didn't cool off during the 48 hours since his epic 33-point, 20-rebound effort versus the Nets on Friday, as he put together another stellar performance. The veteran now has three straight double-digit rebounding efforts and four double-doubles overall in the last seven games. McGee also has a whopping 11 blocks in the last pair of contests, making him an especially coveted asset at a crucial juncture of the fantasy season.
News: Kuzma registered 29 points (10-22 FG, 5-14 3Pt, 4-5 FT), six rebounds, two assists and one block across 40 minutes in the Lakers' 111-106 win over the Kings on Sunday.
Impact: Kuzma exploded in the third quarter, going 7-for-8 from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, to tally 21 of his points. It marked the fourth 20-point quarter for Kuzma this season and provided the Lakers with enough cushion to eventually hang on for the win. The second-year pro's scoring total paced the Lakers for the night and served as his highest since Feb 10 against the 76ers. Factoring in Sunday's production, Kuzma is sporting solid averages of 16.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists across 35.2 minutes in 10 March contests.
News: James (knee) supplied 29 points (9-22 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 8-9 FT), 11 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and one block across 35 minutes in the Lakers' 111-106 win over the Kings on Sunday.
Impact: James overcame some minor knee soreness to produce yet another triple-double, posting 12 points and three assists in the final period to help preserve the victory. James continues logging a normal allotment of minutes for the most part when he does take the floor, which should remain the plan for what remains of the season. The future Hall of Famer has scored 25 points or more in 11 straight games dating back to Feb. 27, and he's generated a double-double at minimum in six of 10 March contests.
News: Muscala (ankle) will not play in Sunday's game against the Kings, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: This will be Muscala's second straight absence while he nurses a sore right ankle. JaVale McGee will start at center while Tyson Chandler likely plays as his backup off the bench.
News: Caldwell-Pope will start at shooting guard in Sunday's game against the Kings, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
Impact: With Reggie Bullock (foot) being a late scratch Sunday night, Caldwell-Pope will be thrust into the starting five. Expect the shooting guard to surpass 30 minutes for the third straight game Sunday with the Lakers being undermanned in the backcourt.