James Harden Won’t Make Sixers Debut Until After All-Star Break

James Harden won’t make his debut with the Sixers until after the All-Star break, the team announced today.

As Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com relays (via Twitter), Harden will continue to rehab a minor left hamstring injury, receiving treatment and participating in on-court training. The 76ers will provide an update on the star guard’s status following the break.

After being acquired from Brooklyn last Thursday in the biggest trade of the NBA season, Harden sat out the Sixers’ home games vs. Oklahoma City on Friday and Cleveland on Saturday. He’ll also miss Tuesday’s game vs. Boston and Thursday’s contest in Milwaukee. The earliest he could suit up for the 76ers would be February 25 in Minnesota.

Harden’s ongoing absence means he’ll also miss this Sunday’s All-Star Game in Cleveland, so commissioner Adam Silver will have to name a second Eastern Conference replacement. Previously, LaMelo Ball was selected to replace Kevin Durant.

There are a number of good candidates to take Harden’s spot, including Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen, Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, and Celtics forward Jaylen Brown. I think Allen is the favorite to get the nod, but it’s possible an additional replacement will be required for Zach LaVine, who is seeing a specialist about his knee injury.

The Nets haven’t issued an update on Ben Simmons‘ status, but he also appears unlikely to play this week. That means we probably won’t see either of the two stars involved in last Thursday’s blockbuster between Philadelphia and Brooklyn suit up with their new teams until at least late February.

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