LM Otero/Associated Press
The NBA continues to fill out rosters for All-Star Weekend, with Tuesday seeing the release of the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge.
Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic leads the way for the World squad, and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young carries the torch for Team USA.
The U.S. vs. The WORLD
Presenting the 2019 #MTNDEWICERisingStars rosters at @NBAAllStar! https://t.co/fOsYRCDTjA
Doncic has become the NBA’s breakout star of the 2018-19 season. The reigning Euroleague MVP had the second-most fan votes among Western Conference players (4,242,980 votes) for the All-Star Game, trailing only LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (4,620,809 votes).
It’s fitting Doncic and Young would be two of the featured players in the NBA’s annual showcase game for its young stars. The two were traded for each other during the 2018 draft and are leading their respective teams as rookies.
For the second straight year, Lakers guard Lonzo Ball may be forced to miss the Rising Stars Challenge. He’s expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained ankle suffered on Jan. 19 against the Houston Rockets. The early end of that timetable would have him back during NBA’s All-Star Weekend from Feb. 15-17.
Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic is back in the game after being named MVP when he scored 26 points in the World’s 155-124 victory last year. He can become the first player to win the award twice in the 25-year history of the Rising Stars Challenge.
Other returning stars include Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, De’Aaron Fox of the Kings, Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls and Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.
The 2019 Rising Stars Challenge will take place on Feb. 15 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.