This article is part of our NBA Barometer series.
Gaining ValueRajon Rondo, LAL: Rondo's return to health from a hand injury coincided almost perfectly with Lonzo Ball suffering what has been diagnosed as a Grade 3 left ankle sprain that will keep him out multiple weeks. That's vaulted Rondo into the starting point guard job for the foreseeable future, and any concerns about playing time restrictions were quickly eradicated when Rondo played 42 and 37 minutes over his first two games, respectively. Given his elite facilitating skills and ability to step up on offense and on the boards when necessary, Rondo is highly enticing in all formats in his current role. Moreover, the imminent Thursday return of LeBron James has the potential to give Rondo exponentially more opportunities for the assists he already often piles up at a prolific rate.
Shabazz Napier, BKN: Like Rondo on the opposite coast, Napier currently has an opportunity for extra minutes in the wake of a backcourt injury on his squad. Spencer Dinwiddie, who was averaging 28.6 minutes and 12.2 shot attempts per game, is gone for multiple weeks due to thumb surgery. Napier is already averaging 19.0 points, 14.5 shot attempts and 27.0 minutes over the first two games Dinwiddie has missed. The 2014 first-round pick was coming on prior to Dinwiddie's absence, as he'd generated double-digit scoring efforts in eight of the previous nine games.