Washington Wizards’ PF Nene had to leave Sunday’s game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers with what is being called a sprained left knee.
Nene has a long injury history and fantasy basketball owners should be adding Trevor Booker from their league’s waiver wires as a precautionary move.
It was a non-contact injury — always the scariest of knee injuries. We’ve seen Marc Gasol and Derrick Rose pull up gimpy without having been touched by any defender. The non-contact versions of knee injuries are often sprains, but can sometimes be more serious tears to the ACL, MCL or meniscus, so fantasy owners can only hope for the best. Nene is scheduled to get an MRI on Monday.
The 6’11” Brazilian had been on a roll of late, scoring 18.8 points over his last six games, and capping that run with a 30-point, seven-rebound game in the Wizards’ one-point win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday. He had eight points, four boards and four assists in 21 minutes before coming up gimpy while attempting to block a shot by the Cavs’ Spencer Hawes (Note: please ignore the title of the video below, there has been no confirmation of a torn ACL):
The length of time Nene misses will depend on the severity of the injury, but even a high-grade knee sprain could keep him out a few weeks. At any rate, fantasy owners would be wise to pick up Trevor Booker (0.3 percent owned on ESPN.com) in lieu of this news.
Nene missed some time earlier in the season with an Achilles issue and Booker played very well in his absence, averaging 13.5 points and 9.3 rebounds in four starts. For reasons unknown, the fourth-year forward played just eight minutes in Sunday’s game — even with Nene going down with the injury — but unless we hear of a disciplinary issue involving Booker, he’s still the player to own in the event Nene has to miss an extended period of time.
Kevin Seraphin is also worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.
Seraphin was the first player off the bench when Nene went down and possesses way more upside than Booker, but is still a bit raw. Seraphin, who was the 17th overall pick of the 2010 Draft, is known for his lack of restraint when it comes to shooting. He’s developed somewhat of a “never saw a shot he didn’t like” label, which is probably the reason Wizards’ coach Randy Wittman has played him just 11.9 minutes per game this season.
Seraphin is averaging 5.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.5 blocks, and is available in 100 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.