The Portland Trail Blazers announced Tuesday that two-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge will miss at least one week with a left groin strain, putting Thomas Robinson on the fantasy basketball waiver-wire radar.
The entire Blazers’ starting five has played all 53 games this season, but Aldridge will sit out the next four games, meaning fantasy basketball owners will need to find a replacement until next Tuesday at the earliest, when team doctors are expected to re-evaluate the eighth-year power forward.
Aldridge is currently averaging 23.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, and his 518 field goals made are second to only the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant.
All of a sudden the frontcourt injuries are piling up for the Blazers, and the pickings are pretty slim when it comes to in-house fantasy options in Portland. With Meyers Leonard (sprained ankle; out 2-to-3 weeks) and Joel Freeland (sprained MCL; out 4-to-8 weeks) on the shelf, second-year pro Thomas Robinson is going to have to step it up.
Robinson was picked fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2012 Draft, but has already been traded twice since then. He has only received 10.9 minutes per game this season, but will get all the minutes he can handle over the next four contests. This next week’s worth of games will give Robinson an opportunity to try to shed the “draft bust” label, and that could work out very well for fantasy owners in the interim.
Robinson is available in 100 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues and is must-add for teams looking for short-term upside.
Another player worth taking a flier on in deep leagues is Dorell Wright. There was once a time — well, just one year — when Wright averaged 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 2.4 3-pointers for the Golden State Warriors. That was during the 2010-11 season. In his first year in Portland, Wright has completely fallen out of coach Terry Stotts’ rotation, but that will likely change with Aldridge missing time.
Due to all the Blazers’ injuries, Stotts has mentioned going with a smaller “wing” lineup, which would feature Robin Lopez at center, but could also have the 6-foot-9 Wright playing a fair amount of power forward. Adding him would be a total desperation move, but if you’re in need of 3-pointers and steals, Wright could be a good plug-and-play. The nine-year veteran is averaging 2.7 treys and 0.8 steals per 36 minutes this season.
Dorell Wright is available in 100 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.