Senior NBA insider Chris Haynes of NBA on TNT broke the news this evening:
Durant last played on Jan. 8 against the Miami Heat. He was named a starter in this year’s festivities behind 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game on career-highs 55.9 percent shooting from the floor and 93.4 percent shooting from the free-throw line.
A delayed return-to-action date comes on the heels of the recent Kyrie Irving trade that sent the fellow All-Star starter to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and an assortment of future draft picks.
Nonetheless, the likely starting replacement for Durant are Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) or Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics). Embiid is the NBA’s leading scorer at 33.4 points per game, while Brown is the other half of a two-headed monster spearheading the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics alongside All-Star starter Jayson Tatum.
The greater question is: who will the injury replacement be? At the front of the line are Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks) and Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks) — two point guards putting up gaudy stat lines for playoff-contending teams.
When the Inside the NBA crew unveiled the All-Star reserves, Blazers Edge interjected with our list of biggest snubs, which can be read here. It additionally included Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), James Harden (76ers), and Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers) as standouts in line for recognition.