For fantasy sports and their real-world counterparts, injuries are the absolute worst.
We should be celebrating the positive developments with Paul George and Victor Oladipo working their way back. Instead, we're stuck sifting through the carnage from the injury bug's latest attacks.
Gordon Hayward's broken hand could cost him six weeks. De'Aaron Fox will lose three-plus weeks to a sprained ankle. The same timetable lingers over Khris Middleton and his thigh contusion. Caris LeVert could lose several weeks to a thumb injury.
These are bummers for all basketball fans, but they're also calls to action in the fantasy realm. If you need replacements, this is the place to find them, as we'll break down the top waiver-wire targets—available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—to help patch up your roster holes.
Kendrick Nunn, PG, Miami Heat (11 Percent Owned)
Kendrick Nunn probably didn't open this season on the fantasy radar. But he did tip it off with a spot on the Miami Heat's starting five, and he's yet to give that up.
That alone makes him worth watching from a fantasy perspective.
But this might be about more than just opportunity. He could have a pretty potent set of skills, albeit ones that might come and go as they please. He is a rookie, after all.
Still, the potential production is too great to ignore. He's encountered peaks and valleys from one night to the next, but his season-long line shows solid (or better) marks in points (16.9), threes (2.3), steals (1.6) and field-goal percentage (44.8).
Coby White, PG, Chicago Bulls (47 Percent Owned)
Lottery picks are the proverbial shiny, new objects, so it's a little surprising to see Coby White as available as he is. Then again, any unproven player who struggles through a five-game stretch where they average 6.2 points on sub-25-percent shooting is going to scare off his fair share of potential owners.
That said, there's a reason he's owned in nearly half of all Yahoo leagues despite that frigid stretch. He has a chance to be special, and like he showed on Tuesday, he can have special moments already this season.
We're not saying you have to go rush out and grab someone anytime they make seven threes in a quarter. But we're not not saying that, either.
The bottom line with White is he might be sporadic, but he can have enough good-to-great nights to make up for the rough ones. He's already had four games with at least 17 points and two with 25-plus. He's simply too talented to leave on the waiver wire.
Maxi Kleber, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks (36 Percent Owned)
This feels like a case of fantasy hoops owners not paying close enough attention. It doesn't make sense, but maybe there's too much focus on Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis for the Mavs' role players to get their due.
Either way, let others' oversight be your gain.
Kleber is a key piece of the Mavs' frontcourt, and he's seeing more than 27 minutes a night. His scoring might fluctuate, but he rebounds consistently, blocks shots, launches from long range and almost assuredly helps your free-throw percentage.
He has already topped the 30-minute mark four times this season. He's made multiple threes in each of his last five games, including going 7-of-13 from distance over his last two. He's also maintaining a double-digit scoring average (10.2 points per game), so even if you're coming to him with other categories in mind, he can help there, too.