"The possession of firearms by an NBA player in an NBA arena is a matter of the utmost concern to us," Stern said. "Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game."
Stern, who originally had said through the league that he would wait until the police investigation concluded before taking action, decided to act after Arenas playfully formed his hands into pistols and pretended he was shooting his teammates as the Wizards huddled courtside before their game against the 76ers in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
It seems likely that Arenas has played his last game of the current season and with the Wizards. There are plenty of directions to go with the discussion from there, but I'll keep the focus on the fantasy impact for our purposes. Arenas' owners should still wait for the specifics of his punishment to shake out here if they can afford to, but if an extended inactive stint removes your team from the playoff/championship picture, then it's fine to make the move for an active player at this point.
The Wizards started Earl Boykins(notes) (19 minutes 10 points, 6 assists, 0 turnovers) and Nick Young(notes) (37 minutes, 14 points, 2 threes, 3 assists, 1 steal) in the backcourt Wednesday, with Randy Foye(notes) (29 minutes, 18 points, 2 threes) coming off the bench. Mike Miller(notes) is a matter of days away from a return, and I anticipate him moving ahead of Young in fairly short order. There are 96 minutes available at point and shooting guard in a given game: with everyone healthy (and regardless of specific role), I can see Miller and Foye pulling around 30, Boykins around 25, and Young getting the remainder. Here are the current per-30 minute averages for the four players on the season:
Miller: 10.2 pts, 1.5 3pt, 6.4 reb, 3.3 ast, 1.6 to, 0.9 stl
Foye: 12.9 pts, 1.2 3pt, 2.4 reb, 2.5 ast, 1.7 to, 0.7 stl
Boykins: 12.9 pts , 0.5 3pt, 2.3 reb, 5.2 ast, 1.8 to, 0.7 stl
Young: 13.1 pts, 1.2 3pt, 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 to, 0.7 stl
Miller deserves universal consideration, Foye is worth the speculative add in most formats, Boykins deserves a look in most leagues deeper than standard size, and Young is a Watch List candidate. Keep in mind that the Wizards will likely be looking to shake up their roster as the trade deadline approaches, particularly if they are able to relieve themselves of Arenas' contract, so those roles could be subject to change in a month or so.
• Two days after Jim O'Brien said that Danny Granger(notes) was at least two weeks away, an AP report is saying that he'll be back soon, after practicing Wednesday and Thursday with no pain in his right plantar fascia. Granger's original timetable was four to six weeks for an injury suffered on Dec. 5. Obviously nothing specific is known at this point, but the fact that he did practice without pain is a very good sign.
• A side-effect to Yi Jianlian's(notes) strong play since his return? Brook Lopez(notes) has been losing a lot of his touches. Over the past six games, Yi has averaged 20.3 points and 14.7 shot attempts, while Lopez has averaged 14.3 points and 10.6 shot attempts. In the first 28 games of the season, Lopez averaged 19.5 points on 14.6 shot attempts. What's also notable about Yi's play – and this situation – since his return is that he's totaled two assists in 258 minutes of playing time.
• Luol Deng's(notes) fractured left thumb is affecting his shot, as evidenced by his 13.5 points on 41-percent shooting over the past six games. He's still been contributing otherwise, averaging 7.5 boards, 0.8 steals, and 1.2 blocks in the same stretch. But he's been held out of contact drills during team practices and has been getting X-rays before every game since first sustaining the injury (Dec. 21). This might be a good time for risk-averse owners to at least shop Deng and see what his current market value is – team doctors told him that the injury would heal on its own in six to eight weeks … if he didn't play.
• Things are coming to a head for Andre Miller(notes) in Portland. Reports are that he and Nate McMillan were involved in a shouting match that lasted 25 minutes during Thursday's practice. For what it's worth, team general manager Kevin Pritchard called the exchange "normal" and said it could be "healthy." It's not secret that Miller could be on the move, and this isn't likely to hurt those chances.
• The Heat had a Wednesday deadline and opted to keep Carlos Arroyo(notes) on the roster for the remainder of the season, a move that takes a bit of the shine off Rafer Alston's(notes) potential fantasy impact and should effectively end the potential for any kind of Mario Chalmers(notes) rebound during the current season.
• Kings updates: Tyreke Evans'(notes) ankle is still not 100 percent. … Kevin Martin(notes) feels ready to go, but his status won't change before he meets with team doctors on Tuesday. … Francisco Garcia(notes) has been practicing with the team but isn't likely to join the active rotation before the end of January.
• Nuggets Friday status updates: Chauncey Billups(notes) (groin) and Nene Hilario(notes) (ankle) are probable, Carmelo Anthony(notes) (knee) and Ty Lawson(notes) (ankle) are questionable, and Chris Andersen(notes) (ankle) is almost certainly out.
• Other injury/status updates: Deron Williams'(notes) bruised/sprained right wrist is still giving him issues. He didn't practice Thursday and is questionable for Friday's game. … Pau Gasol's(notes) hamstring is improving but he won't play Friday. … A sore right shoulder kept Danio Gallinari out of contract drills Wednesday, but he will be in the starting lineup Thursday. … Kevin Love(notes) left Wednesday's game with a left knee injury that looked bad at the time but was eventually diagnosed as just a bruise. … Troy Murphy(notes) (ankle) could return to the lineup on Friday.
Photos via Getty Images
- Gilbert Arenas