NBA Training Camps 2020: Latest Injury Buzz and Fantasy Takeaways

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIJuly 13, 2020

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 11: Paul George of the LA Clippers shoots during practice as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 11, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Madison Quisenberry/NBAE via Getty Images)
Madison Quisenberry/Getty Images

All 22 teams participating in the NBA's restart of the 2019-20 season have arrived in Orlando, Florida, for training camp. And in a little more than two weeks, the league's seeding games will begin and basketball will be back in action.

While many of the league's top stars are preparing for the upcoming games, such as LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and more, not every player in the league will be coming back to the court. Some players are dealing with injuries, while others have opted not to enter the NBA bubble to play.

Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding injuries in the NBA, along with the fantasy effects they could have moving forward.

        

George feeling healthy ahead of season restart

After undergoing surgery on both of his shoulders last offseason, Paul George told reporters on Friday he never felt "100 percent" earlier in the 2019-20 season, his first with the Los Angeles Clippers. But with the Clippers set to return to action July 30, it appears there are no longer any issues.

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"The whole season, all the way up until maybe a month or two ago, I had to always do shoulder rehab stuff, warming the shoulder up. Just so much went into stuff I had to do before I actually took a foot on the floor," George said, according to The Athletic's Jovan Buha. "Now I feel great again. I feel great going on the court, shooting, doing regular things. Just confident in that, feeling back to myself again."

George added that his body is "in the best form that it can be right now." That's good news for the Clippers, who will be looking to win the first NBA title in franchise history, and fantasy basketball owners alike, as George is a top-tier player in the league when healthy.

In 42 games so far this season, George has averaged 21 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per contest. Those are solid numbers, but he averaged 28 points, 8.2 rebounds and an NBA-high 2.2 steals over 77 games in 2018-19 for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now fully healthy, George could put up huge numbers the rest of the season, so fantasy owners should have no trouble relying on the 30-year-old forward to carry their teams the rest of the way.

      

Who will be on court for Nets?

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 10: Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets during practice at the hotel as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 10, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograp
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets are going to look much different when they first take the court for a game in Orlando. And while that's not a good thing for them, there is a way that fantasy owners might be able to capitalize.

Kevin Durant (Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder) are still recovering from injuries and won't play for the Nets. Neither will Nicolas Claxton (shoulder). Meanwhile, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince and Wilson Chandler have all opted not to play. Brooklyn's roster will be filled out with recently signed players, such as Jamal Crawford and Michael Beasley, although it's hard to imagine they'll have large roles.

But that could lead to players such as Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen putting up bigger scoring numbers as they'll be relied upon to carry a heavier offensive load. LeVert (17.7 points per game) and Harris (13.9) were already among the team's top scorers, but they could potentially average even more points as the probable top players on the court for Brooklyn.

It will be important for fantasy owners to watch the Nets early to see who gets the most minutes to make up for the absences of so many top players. There's a possibility that somebody emerges as a surprise scoring option while receiving increased minutes who could positively impact a fantasy team.

      

Oladipo, Beal among stars not in action

The Nets won't be the only team affected by injuries and players opting not to play. Indiana Pacers shooting guard Victor Oladipo and Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal won't be in action for the rest of the 2019-20 season.

Oladipo told The Athletic's Shams Charania that he's "getting closer and closer to 100 percent" with his rehab, but he's going to take the rest of the season off and focus on "getting fully healthy" for 2020-21. While Oladipo returned from a quad injury to play 13 games earlier this season, he didn't play at the same high level that he has for much of his career.

Beal isn't playing the rest of the season because of a right rotator cuff injury. The team announced that he had "shoulder discomfort since early in the season," but it got worse during the hiatus, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.

But with Oladipo and Beal out, that could create opportunities for other guards on the Pacers and Wizards to step up, potentially serving as viable fantasy options. Indiana's Jeremy Lamb and Washington's Rui Hachimura could get more scoring opportunities now, especially Hachimura, considering the Wizards will also be without Davis Bertans, their second-leading scorer behind Beal.