With Andre Drummond injured for four to six weeks, he won’t be able to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge. Drummond had been picked fifth overall by Shaquille O’Neal in the Rising Stars Draft between Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.
So who’s going to replace Drummond? Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports has your answer.
Andrew Nicholson has actually a good rookie season and I was mildly surprised he wasn’t selected for the player pool in the Rising Stars Challenge. He got some good minutes when Glen Davis got hurt. He also scored 21 points (one shy of his career high) against Cleveland on Friday night. His averages aren’t too shabby: he’s shooting .537, scoring 7.6 points, and grabbing 3.5 rebounds in just over 15 minutes a game. Nicholson was picked 19th overall in the first round by Orlando. He will join sophomore and teammate Nikola Vucevic in the game although Vucevic will be playing for the opposition, Team Chuck (Charles Barkley).
Drummond averages 7.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game in just under 20 minutes of play. He has the potential to be an excellent player and the Pistons are bringing him along slowly. The organization is probably hoping he could pair up with Greg Monroe as devastating twin towers for the Pistons. He was picked ninth overall by Detroit after one season at the University of Connecticut.
The Rising Stars Challenge used to be known as the Rookie Challenge. It has changed many formats in the past including pitting the league’s best rookies against the league’s best sophomores. But the point of this game is to showcase the young talent of the NBA. This game started in 1994.
The Rising Stars Challenge will be played on Friday night, February 15th, at Houston. Team Chuck defeated Team Shaq last season, 146-133, with Kyrie Irving winning MVP honors after he went for 34 points.