When Brandon Roy signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves over the summer, you just know he had to take a big red marker and circle Friday, Nov. 23, on his calendar. That's the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, but more importantly, it's the day he headed back to Oregon to face his former team, the Portland Trail Blazers.
Instead, Roy will undergo yet another surgical procedure on his right knee this week, according to The Oregonian. He will not play in the foreseeable future, and possibly ever again as a pro.
Per the Oregonian's Jason Quick, this will be Roy's seventh knee surgery since high school and his fifth as a pro. Considering that the root cause of the problem is that his knees are arthritic and degenerative, it was a minor miracle that he could even attempt a legitimate comeback this fall. With yet another procedure on tap, the odds of a long-term return to the NBA is even less likely. Fantasy teams that were holding on to him might want to wait for an official timetable, but realistically, it's likely safe to drop him and move along.
• Greg Monroe racked up 20 points (8-for-11 FG, 4-for-5 FT), 13 boards, 3 dimes and 2 steals Sunday while leading his Detroit Pistons to a win over the Boston Celtics. After a shaky start the season -- in part due to a brutal six-game road trip -- Monroe appears to be settling in as the fundamentally sound and steady player we expected him to be this season. He still isn't much of a shot-blocker (1.0 blocks per game), but he makes up for it with healthy assists (3.4 per game) and steals (1.6) averages.
• Kobe Bryant messed around and got a triple-double, the 18th of his career, on Sunday. Kobe finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 dimes. While the Lakers are installing Mike D'Antoni's offense, the coach still hasn't been on the sideline for a game yet; he's still recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. He might get there at some point this week, and it's safe to assume that Bryant is going to be a top-10 fantasy play as long as his body holds up. In a side note, Kevin Durant popped off his first career trip-dub Sunday, with 28 points, 13 boards and 10 assists.
• Gerald Wallace returned from his sprained ankle Sunday, though you wouldn't know it from the box score: 4 points (2-for-3 FG), 1 board, 3 assists, 4 turnovers and 1 steal. Once he gets his legs back under him and gets settled in as a Nets starter, Crash should provide plenty of rebounding and hustle stats, which should make him a quality play in points leagues and a solid option to round out rosters in roto leagues.
• Kyrie Irving sustained a bruised index finger during Saturday's game. He played through it Sunday and struggled to post decent numbers against the Philadelphia 76ers, finishing with 9 points (4-for-14 FG, 0-for-2 3s), 4 dimes and 5 turnovers. The Cleveland Cavaliers don't play again until their Wednesday rematch with the Sixers, so he should be ready to go, barring an unexpected setback.
• Dorell Wright was awful once again Sunday. He played only 11 minutes and managed just 3 points and 4 rebounds. He has been a complete non-factor since moving back to the bench. Fantasy owners can move on.
• While the Wolves got some bad news when it comes to Roy, things are trending in the right direction for Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Both of the injured stars were able to take part in 5-on-0 offensive walkthroughs in practice Sunday. Of course, a walkthrough against no defense isn't exactly a true test for game action, but it's a positive sign nonetheless. Love is on track to return around Dec. 1, while Rubio should be back later in December. Meanwhile, Nikola Pekovic got in a full practice and appears to be on track for Wednesday's game. He has been out with a sprained ankle.
• In case you missed the weekend news about Andrew Bynum, he suffered a setback with his left knee -- reportedly by bowling -- and now has bone bruises and cartilage issues in both knees. It's pretty much a nightmare scenario for any fantasy owner who rolled the dice on Bynum in the early rounds. There's no timetable for a return, and fantasy owners will have to continue to burn a roster spot to keep him. As long as Bynum is sidelined, Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen and Kwame Brown will continue to get a boost in minutes and production for the Sixers.
Fastbreak Player of the Night
You likely will fill one of your guard spots with Kobe Bryant, who has a home matchup with the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. A sneaky play for your other backcourt spot would be using J.R. Smith, who faces the New Orleans Hornets. Smith was drafted by the Hornets franchise and could never get it going with them. A lot of that was his own fault for being perpetually immature, as well as shooting below 40 percent in his two-season stint with the team. But you have to believe he will see Tuesday's game as a chance for payback. He should have little trouble topping 20 Fastbreak points and could approach a season high if his shot is falling.