James Harden has been ruled out through the all-star break with a left hamstring injury, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
Harden, 32, was recently traded to the Philadelphia 76ers alongside Paul Millsap in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round picks.
The 76ers will likely be cautious with the former league MVP as they make a push towards the playoffs.
Harden was (infamously) selected last in the 2022 all-star draft.
Some potential replacements in the Eastern Conference include:
Toronto Raptors’ forward Pascal Siakam, who’s averaging 22.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists on 50%/36%/73% shooting splits.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ center Jarrett Allen, who’s averaging 16.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks on 67%/10%/70% shooting splits.
Boston Celtics’ guard/forward Jaylen Brown, who’s averaging 23.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists on 46%/34%/78% shooting splits.
The Raptors, Cavaliers, and Celtics all have one all-star – and all are within three games of each other in the Eastern Conference standings.
My guess is that Allen will get the nod, considering the all-star game is going to be in Cleveland.
Commissioner Adam Silver will likely make a decision on Harden’s replacement soon.