Chicago Bulls’ shooting guard Jimmy Butler had to leave Friday’s game vs. the Denver Nuggets with what team officials are calling a “rib contusion”. More tests will be done later, but fantasy basketball owners should have a contingency plan in place.
The hard-nosed Butler was attempting a layup when he was hit in the air, falling hard to the ground. He briefly stayed in the game, but was removed and ruled out for the remainder of the contest:
Butler has missed 13 games due to injury this season, so his fantasy owners are no stranger to this. It will be unfortunate if he has to miss an extended period of time because he had finally picked up his play of late, averaging 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.7 blocks over his last three games.
Butler finished the game playing 11 minutes and scoring eight points, with two boards, two dimes, and a 3-pointer.
Starting Sunday, the Bulls will play six games over a nine day stretch, so fantasy owners should prepare for Butler to miss some time. Rookie Tony Snell (0.2 percent owned on ESPN.com) would be the top replacement on most waiver wires. Snell came into the game and scored a career-high 20 points (3-4 3PT) in 37 minutes. He also added two steals and a rebound.
The 22-year-old out of the University of New Mexico is a defensive-minded player and still very raw, but has shown potential in his limited court time — most notably in the 3-point department. Snell has hit 1.0 trey per game, and 1.8 per 36 minutes. Give him a look if you’re a Butler owner or in a deeper league.