The Orlando Magic‘s 113-97 loss to the New York Knicks Wednesday, their seventh straight loss, was made even more painful with news that starting PF Glen Davis would be lost for the season after breaking his foot.
Davis underwent successful surgery Friday, and he will reportedly miss 8-12 weeks, likely ending his season. The injury is a big blow to the Magic, as his trade value takes a big hit and the injury kills any chances of a late-season push by the team. What the injury does do, however, is give fantasy basketball owners a chance to evaluate some of the young big men on the team.
The first name that comes to mind is rookie Andrew Nicholson. The Magic’s first round pick was a big-time player at St. Bonaventure University, as he averaged about 19 points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game in his final two collegiate seasons. His playing time has been sporadic all season and he has been riding the bench lately, but that will certainly change with Davis out.
Nicholson has shown an ability to put up points and grab boards when he gets minutes, as he dropped 22 points with seven rebounds in a game late December in which he only played 26 minutes. Davis owners may want to target him as a potential replacement, although he may not pay immediate dividends for fantasy owners.
Second round pick, Kyle O’Quinn, could also see some extra run. He saw nine minutes off the bench with Davis out against the Knicks on Wednesday, but O’Quinn will still likely be second in line to Nicholson. The Magic could also give Gustavo Ayon and Josh McRoberts more minutes. Ayon showed some potential back in a run during late December when he was seeing around 30 minutes per game, but he is not much of a scorer. McRoberts is another guy with limited potential. He has also seemingly fallen out of favor with the coaches and has failed to see the court in the past five games.
The wild card in all of this is veteran Al Harrington. He has missed all season due to knee issues, but the latest news is that he is really close, and he could bring some legitimacy to the Magic’s starting lineup. He averaged 14.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season, and if healthy, could reach similar production.
For now, Nicholson seems to be the choice with the most fantasy upside, though, each of these names should get a chance to step up. Fantasy owners should certainly watch this situation closely as the year goes on.