Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic will replace injured Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love on Team LeBron in the All-Star Game later this month, the NBA announced in a press release Thursday.
Dragic, who was named to the Third Team All-NBA as a member of the Phoenix Suns in 2013-14, when he also captured the league’s Most Improved Player award, will make his first All-Star appearance.
The 31-year-old Slovenian is averaging 17 points, 4.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds this season, leading the Heat to their current fourth-place standing in the Eastern Conference — just 1.5 games out of third. He will be Miami’s first All-Star since Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh both made the roster two years ago.
Dragic, the first Slovenian ever to make an All-Star team, joins Kyle Korver, Tyson Chandler and Sam Cassell as players who made their first All-Star appearance in their 10th season or later, per the NBA.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has made his injury replacements based on the number of votes players received from coaches. Paul George was the next-highest vote-getter in the West when DeMarcus Cousins tore his Achilles last week, and Andre Drummond was next in the East when John Wall required surgery on his knee. Dragic was next in line when Love broke his hand on Tuesday night.
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