Cleveland Cavaliers fans will have the opportunity to cheer for another one of their team's players during the 2022 All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday.
The NBA announced Cavaliers big man Jarrett Allen will replace Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden on Team LeBron in Sunday's game. Harden is recovering from a left hamstring injury and will miss the game.
Harden's path to Team LeBron was the biggest talking point of Thursday's player draft to determine the rosters.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant selected their teams from the pool of All-Stars, and it became clear that Durant wasn't going to pick Harden as the draft continued. Harden had just been traded from Durant's Brooklyn Nets to the 76ers, and it reached a point that James even covered his face with a clipboard to hide his laughter.
Harden fell to the last pick and ended up on Team LeBron. But the guard, who has not appeared in a game since Feb. 2, will be sidelined through the All-Star break.
That clears the path for Allen to become a first-time All-Star in front of the hometown fans. Cavaliers guard Darius Garland was already selected to the game, although he will suit up for Team Durant on Sunday.
Allen is averaging 16.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 66.5 percent from the field this season. His interior presence on both ends of the floor is a major reason Cleveland is among the biggest positive surprises of the 2021-22 campaign.
The Cavaliers are 35-22 and sitting third in the Eastern Conference standings.
Allen will look to help James maintain his undefeated record as the captain of Team LeBron at the All-Star Game. The Los Angeles Lakers star is 4-0 since the NBA switched the All-Star Game format to the current one where the two captains draft their teams.