De'Aaron Fox to Replace Lonzo Ball in 2018 Rising Stars Game Due to Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, right, backs up against Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Sacramento Kings rookie point guard De'Aaron Fox has been named to the Rising Stars Game as a replacement for Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, according to the NBA.

Ball, 20, is still recovering from an MCL sprain in his left knee that has kept him out of action since mid-January. Ball said he would return after the All-Star break for the Lakers' matchup against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, Feb. 23, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.

Ball also said that he'd be out on the court if the Lakers were in the playoffs, per Youngmisuk, who added, "He said he still feels a little discomfort when he pushes off the left knee on defense. His last hurdle is a full-contact, full-speed practice."

He isn't the only guard for the U.S. Team that had to pull out of the game, as Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon is recovering from a partially torn left quadriceps tendon. He was replaced on the roster by Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince.

When healthy, Ball is having a solid if unspectacular rookie season, averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game. His shooting has been a struggle, however, as he's making just 35.6 percent of his shots from the field and 30.3 percent of his shots from three.

Fox, 20, has had similar struggles, shooting 41.2 percent overall and 32.6 percent from three. Like Ball, however, he's made an impact in other ways, averaging 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.

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He'll join a number of talented young guards on the U.S. roster, including Kris Dunn of the Chicago Bulls, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and Dennis Smith Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks.