San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich sent a shockwave through the fantasy basketball world on Monday, announcing that All-Star Tony Parker would be be sitting out “for the foreseeable future.”
Popovich said that Parker is suffering from “a variety of maladies” that have “caught up to him [the last three years].” A lower back issue and a bruised shin have plagued Parker all season, and it’s worth noting that Pop reiterated that “[Parker] doesn’t have a pulled hamstring or anything.”
While Parker is out — which could be a while — fantasy owners need to look to the waiver wire for replacements. The Spurs have several good in-house option that should satisfy owners’ needs.
Patty Mills will likely be the biggest beneficiary from Parker’s absence. Popovich has decided to bring Mills off the bench in all but one game Parker has missed, but that hasn’t affected his production. In those six games, Mills is averaging 15.3 points and 2.2 3-pointers. The Australian-born point guard should be added in all leagues — especially after scoring a season-high 32 points in the Spurs victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 8. Mills is owned in just 9.4 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.
The Spurs’ will welcome back Manu Ginobili (30.5 percent owned) tonight, and could have Kawhi Leonard (58.8 percent owned) back as well. Ginobili is expected to play limited minutes after missing the past eight games with a hamstring injury, so Marco Belinelli (7.1 percent owned) could have one more shot at heightened fantasy production. Leonard has been out with a non-displaced fracture in his hand and has been deemed a game-time decision by the Spurs.