Rajon Rondo injury should land Brook Lopez on East All-Star team

Scott Halleran

Rajon Rondo has torn his ACL and will be out for a long while. In the immediate term, that leaves the East All-Stars one player short. Who should David Stern add to the squad?

Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season (and more) with a torn ACL. Obviously, the biggest concerns lie with the Celtics, who now must decide whether to trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett or hope they can survive without their third superstar. But David Stern also has a decision to make, as he'll soon need to select a player to replace Rondo in the All-Star Game.

The biggest snub by Eastern Conference coaches, who selected the reserves this past week, was Brook Lopez, the Nets' productive center. He sits in the top four in the NBA in PER (up there with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony) and Brooklyn's worst stretch neatly coincided with Lopez's injury absence. He deserves to be on this team, and Stern should take the opportunity to make it so.

There could be a desire to replace a guard with a guard; outside of Rondo and fellow starter Dwyane Wade, the coaches selected Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday. The top two guard options remaining for Stern would also be from Brooklyn: Joe Johnson, or if a point guard is needed (unlikely), Deron Williams. Brandon Jennings would be a nice option if Stern wanted a dose of excitement. (Sorry, Joe and Deron.)

Stern could also decide to reward a good-citizen veteran like David West, and bring the trade deadline circus to All-Star Weekend by picking Josh Smith. If you're one of those conspiracy types that thinks Stern does everyone for New York's benefit, he could make himself a legend in several different camps by giving the nod to J.R. Smith.

Let's hear it, who should Stern pick to replace Rondo?

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