Tristan Thompson PF/C CLE 1 Day
Thompson appears in line to assume a starting role following Wednesday's news that Anderson Varejao will miss the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles tendon, Yahoo! Sports reports.
Thompson has been averaging 8.8 points and 7.1 rebounds over 26 minutes per night, but those figures could creep closer to the double digits if the move to the starting lineup results in an uptick in playing time. Despite the diminished role this season, Thompson is shooting a career-best 54.1 percent and is also sporting the lowest turnover rate of his four NBA seasons.
Jannero Pargo PG CHA 1 Day
Pargo has been ruled out from playing Friday against the Thunder due to lower-back soreness.
With only nine appearances on the season and an average of eight minutes per game in the contest anyway, there's a good chance Pargo wouldn't have gotten off the bench Friday even if fully healthy. He's strictly an insurance option at point guard behind Kemba Walker and Brian Roberts.
Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 1 Day
Jefferson (strained left groin) is listed as probable for Friday's game against the Thunder.
Jefferson first suffered the injury last Saturday, but has played in both of Charlotte's game since that time. However, he saw minute counts below his 32.7 per game in both contests, and count be in line for another slight reduction in playing time again versus the Thunder. It's probably not significant enough for those in season-long leagues to keep Jefferson on their bench, but daily game players should exercise more caution with using the big man in their lineups.
Lance Stephenson SG CHA 1 Day
Stephenson (pelvis) will not play Friday against the Thunder.
It will be the fifth consecutive game that Stephenson will miss due to the injury. The Hornets' decision to rule the guard out this far in advance suggests that he's unlikely to play Saturday against Orlando, though his status for that game could still be revisited. Stephenson's first season in Charlotte has been a disappointing one, as the big-ticket free-agent signing has seen a drop in both playing time and scoring, with the latter primarily due to an ugly 38.6 percent shooting mark from the field.
Kawhi Leonard SG/SF SA 1 Day
Leonard (hand) has been ruled out for the Spurs' Christmas Day tilt with the Thunder.
Leonard's injury is still being classified as a bruise, but it appears that the swingman's belief that he would be fully healthy by Christmas was unfounded. It's still expected that he'll return before the end of 2014 and avoid an overly lengthy absence. Kyle Anderson is set to assume his spot in the starting lineup Thursday.
Kevin Durant SF OKC 1 Day
Durant (ankle) is being listed as out for the Thunder's Christmas Day tilt with the Spurs, The Oklahoman reports.
There's always a possibility that the Thunder could upgrade Durant's status to a game-time decision Thursday morning, but at this stage, it appears the team is preparing as if their star will miss his fourth straight contest. The sprained ankle along with the fractured right foot earlier in the season have limited Durant to just nine games thus far, during which he's noticed a drop of 10 minutes and 10 points from the per-game averages of his 2013-14 MVP campaign.
Justin Hamilton C MIA 1 Day
Hamilton, who had been nursing a quadriceps injury, is now also being evaluated under the NBA's concussion protocol, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
Hamilton was unable to practice Wednesday due to the head injury, and can almost certainly be ruled out from playing in the Heat's Christmas Day tilt with the Cavaliers. The expected absence of Hamilton and Chris Bosh along with the season-ending injury to Josh McRoberts leaves the Heat incredibly thin on the front line, with Shawne Williams, Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem primed to play heavier minutes as a result.
Amare Stoudemire PF/C NY 1 Day
Stoudemire (rest) will play Thursday against the Wizards, Newsday reports.
Stoudemire was rested for Sunday's game against the Raptors but was expected to return for Thursday's game. That indeed appears to be the case, and he should be fine to play his regular minutes in the game.
Chris Bosh PF/C MIA 1 Day
Bosh (Calf) isn't expected to play Thursday against the Cavaliers on Thursday, Yahoo! Sports reports.
Bosh didn't play Tuesday but his status for Thursday hadn't been ruled out yet. While that still is the case, coach Erik Spoelstra's indicated he doesn't plan on Bosh playing, suggesting he isn't ready to return yet. If he can't go, Chris Andersen figures to see a good chunk of minutes again in his place.
Josh Smith F DET 1 Day
Smith will sign with the Rockets once he has cleared waivers, Fox 26 in Houston reports.
Smith was apparently promised a starting spot in Houston, and will reportedly sign a one-year contract at a pro-rated portion of the bi-annual exception. The Rockets were in need of a power forward with Terrence Jones out indefinitely, and it appears Smith will likely fill that void. Donatas Motiejunas will likely see his minutes impacted most by the expected addition.