The Los Angeles Lakers’ season has been very forgettable, and it just took another turn for the worse. Top-scoring sixth man Nick Young had to leave Wednesday’s game vs. the Cavaliers with what team trainers are calling a “twisted” left knee. Young, who is averaging 17.1 points and 1.7 threes per game, did not return to action. Fantasy basketball owners would be wise to head to their league’s waiver wire to check out the options that may be available to them.
Young’s injury occurred one night after losing Jodie Meeks to a sprained ankle and Jordan Hill to a neck injury. It’s another devastating blow to a Lakers’ team that has been decimated by injuries this season. Nearly every player on their roster has been sidelined at some point. Pau Gasol is out for at least the next two weeks with a groin injury and Future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant has played only six games all season while recovering from two major injuries — a ruptured Achilles, and most recently, a fractured knee. Bryant has no timetable to return.
If you’re a Young owner, believe it or not, there are still some in-house waiver-wire options in La La Land. Wesley Johnson has been pretty inconsistent all season, but can fill up the stat sheet in many categories. The former Syracuse standout is averaging just 8.4 points per game, but owners can forgive that due to his 1.0 steal, 1.0 block and 1.2 three-pointers. Right now he is playing a reasonable 27.1 minutes per game, but that could be on the rise if Young were to miss significant time. Johnson is available in 96 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues and had 20 points and nine rebounds in the start on Wednesday.
One Laker to consider is Ryan Kelly (97 percent available), who scored 26 points on Wednesday, and is averaging 11.8 points over his last nine games. Another player to take a look at would be Jordan Farmar (100 percent available), who had 21 points and eight assists while playing for the first time since re-injuring his hamstring on December 29.