Hornets guard LaMelo Ball will replace injured Nets forward Kevin Durant in the All-Star Game, while Spurs guard Dejounte Murray will take the place of injured Warriors forward Draymond Green, the NBA announced today in a press release. Commissioner Adam Silver named Ball and Murray as replacement players.
Previous reported had indicated that Durant (MCL sprain) and Green (back/disc) would miss the All-Star Game in Cleveland on February 20 due to their respective injuries, so it comes as no surprise that a pair of replacements have been added to the 12-man rosters for the event. There’s no indication at this point that any other All-Stars will have to miss the game, though that could change in the next couple weeks.
Ball has averaged 19.6 PPG, 7.5 APG, and 7.1 RPG in 47 games (32.1 MPG) this season for the Hornets. He beat out a handful of worthy candidates – including teammate Miles Bridges, Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Celtics wing Jaylen Brown, Pacers center Domantas Sabonis, and Raptors forward Pascal Siakam – to be named Durant’s replacement.
Like Ball, Murray has filled up the box score this season in a breakout season in San Antonio. He has put up 19.6 PPG, 9.2 APG, and 8.4 RPG with a league-leading 2.1 SPG in 47 games (34.4 MPG). Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, Lakers big man Anthony Davis, and Suns forward Mikal Bridges were among the other candidates to be named Green’s replacement.
Since Durant was a starter, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has been moved into the starting lineup, per the league. Tatum was the next-highest vote-getter among Eastern Conference frontcourt players.
Durant is still one of the two All-Star captains, along with LeBron James, and will be responsible for drafting his All-Star roster.