As the Miami Heat were carried to victory on Wednesday night by LeBron James in their final game before 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend, Dwyane Wade was not on the floor. Projected to return to action on Wednesday, Wade was a late scratch from the roster due to a foot injury that has sidelined him recently.
Now that we’re about to enter the All-Star break, though, Wade’s foot injury leaves things a little bit uncertain for Sunday’s All-Star Game. Wade was voted by the fans as one of the two starting guards for the Eastern Conference, but him being scratched from his team’s last game before the break raises questions about whether or not he’ll be able to suit up come Sunday. In essence, the league could be forced to find a replacement for Wade in the next couple of days.
Assuming that the league will bring in another guard to replace Wade, there are only two real options as to where the league could go in terms of replacements. Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson and Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry are the two guys that you’d have to expect to be in consideration to fill that void if necessary.
For the East-leading Pacers who already have Paul George and Roy Hibbert in the All-Star Game, Stephenson has been arguably their third-best player. In 50 games, the young wing has had a career year with averages of 14.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 0.8 steals per game while shooting 50.2 percent from the floor. His all-around contributions work in his favor, as does his team’s massive success thus far.
Lowry is the more deserving option as a replacement, though. Lowry has been an offensive juggernaut since the Rudy Gay trade and has played so well that the Raptors have taken him off the table for trade talks leading up to the NBA Trade Deadline. You have to be doing something pretty special for Masai Ujiri to deter teams who are interested in trading for you.
If Wade does indeed miss the All-Star Game, both Stephenson and Lowry are viable options that you can’t get too riled up about. Both players have been productive for successful teams and deserve recognition for that. If the situation does play out like so, they are certainly the two guys to keep an eye on.