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Rising Stars Challenge Players Announced

The NBA announced the rookies and sophomores who will be participating in the Rising Stars Challenge during the 2014 All-Star Weekend.

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The Philadelphia 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard headline the list of 18 players selected for the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge to be played Friday, Feb. 14, in New Orleans during NBA All-Star 2014.

Carter-Williams, the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November, leads all first year players in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (6.7 apg), rebounding (5.6 apg) and steals (2.41 spg). Davis, the league leader in blocks (3.27 bpg), is averaging a double-double with 20.4 points and 10.4 rebounds. Lillard, the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year has the Trail Blazers near the top of the Western Conference standings thanks to averages of 20.6 points and 5.6 assists.

»In Related: NBA Team Salaries

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge — televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN Radio, with live audio also available on NBA.com in multiple languages — features two teams each consisting of nine rookies and sophomores mixed together, drafted from a pool selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches.

Joining Davis and Lillard among sophomores selected to participate are the Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal, the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond, the Houston Rockets’ Terrence Jones, the Boston Celtics’ Jared Sullinger, the Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dion Waiters.

Carter-Williams is joined in the player pool by fellow rookies Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Atlanta Hawks’ Pero Antic, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Utah Jazz’s Trey Burke, the New York Knicks’ Tim Hardaway, Jr., the Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo, the Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, and the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee.

»In Related: NBA Rumor Round-Up: Suns Are Buyers

This marks the third straight year rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Draft is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, televised exclusively on TNT at 7 p.m. ET. General Managers for the teams will be announced at a later date. Last year in Houston, Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried scored 40 points (18-of-22 field goals) and added 10 rebounds en route to MVP honors as he led his team to a 163-135 win.

Following the announcement of each team on Feb. 6, fans will be able to vote online from both their computer and mobile device for the starters of each team. The starting lineups will be determined by the players garnering the top votes for their respective positions, with two backcourt and three frontcourt spots for each team. The announcement of the starting lineup will be made in broadcast and in-arena on the night of the game.

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Sources: Caris LeVert Out Indefinitely

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New Pacers guard Caris LeVert will be out indefinitely after an MRI revealed a small mass on his left kidney.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Report: Isaiah Thomas Discussing Comeback with Several Teams

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Free agent guard Isaiah Thomas tells @YahooSports he’s in communication with a handful of teams about an NBA return and says he recently hired Bernie Lee of Quartexx Basketball for representation.

Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

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Report: Jusuf Nurkic Out Indefinitely with Broken Right Wrist

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Jusuf Nurkic can’t seem to catch a figurative break when it comes to literal breaks.

The 7-0 center out of Bosnian and Herzegovina suffered a broken right wrist in the third quarter of Thursday’s game versus the Pacers Thursday night at the Moda Center.

The injury occurred around the 8:40 mark of the third quarter, as Nurkic fell after contesting a drive attempt by Pacers center Myles Turner. Nurkic took a hard fall to the floor and remained there for some time before getting up and immediately heading to the locker room with members of the team’s medical staff. X-rays taken taken during the game showed a fracture to his right wrist, which, depending on the severity and location of the break, could sideline the center for the foreseeable future.

Source: Portland Trail Blazers

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