Jusuf Nurkic to replace Steven Adams in Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend


Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams is out at least three weeks with a broken hand, which has implications for the Thunder. But it also has implications for the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend this Friday. Adams was scheduled to be part of the World team (the NBA changed up the format this year for the rookie-sophomore game by moving to USA and World rosters as opposed to teams drafted by TNT analysts).

The NBA has announced that Denver Nuggets rookie center Jusuf Nurkic, a native of Bosnia, will replace Adams in the game.

Denver Nuggets rookie center Jusuf Nurkic will replace injured World Team selection Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 13, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The NBA’s annual showcase of premier first- and second-year players at NBA All-Star 2015 features a new format that pits first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against first- and second-year NBA players from around the world.

Nurkic, the 16th overall pick of the 2014 draft, who was acquired by the Nuggets in a draft-day trade with Chicago, has appeared in 39 games this season, averaging 6.8 points, 6.2 rebounds (second among rookies) and 1.26 blocks (third) in 16.7 minutes. The 20-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina native spent the 2013-14 season playing in Croatia.

Adams underwent successful surgery on Monday to address a fracture in the fourth metacarpal of his right hand. In 50 games this season, he has averaged 7.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.22 blocks in 24.3 minutes.