The news that Washington’s John Wall could miss up to two months because of a knee procedure could impact the Heat in different ways.
With Wall out of the Feb. 18 All-Star game, the door could open for the Heat to have a representative in the game. Miami is the only team among the top eight in the Eastern Conference and top 15 in the NBA without an All-Star.
Heat guard Goran Dragic likely will be strongly considered to replace Wall, who will undergo arthroscopic surgery Wednesday. NBA commissioner Adam Silver will make that selection. Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker and Detroit’s Andre Drummond also are strong candidates.
Heat owner Micky Arison immediately went to Twitter to voice his preference.
And Heat players and coach Erik Spoelstra were endorsing Dragic throughout the voting period.
“I think the guy that probably should have received consideration for it would be Goran,” Spoelstra said after it was known Dragic was not voted in by the coaches.
Dragic, 31, never has been an All-Star in his 10-year career. He is averaging 17.0 points, 4.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds this season.
As of now, guard Wayne Ellington is the only member of the Heat headed to L.A. Ellington will be in the 3-point contest, which will be held Jan. 17.
The Heat (29-21) have held onto the No. 4 seed the last week, ahead of the Wizards. Miami defeated Dallas, 95-88, Monday to start a four-game road trip. Washington (27-22) has lost 4-of-6 and dropped into a tie for the No. 5 seed along with Milwaukee (27-22) and Indiana (28-23) 1.5 games behind the Heat. But now the Wizards will be without their four-time All-Star and second leading scorer for a significant amount of time.
Wall is averaging 19.4 points and is second in the league in assists with 9.3 per game. Without Wall, the Wizards will rely heavily on the other half of their All-Star backcourt, Bradley Beal, who leads the team with 23.9 points per game.
The Heat have retained that No. 4 seeding despite going 4-3 in their last seven games. The Bucks, though, has started a move up the standings by winning four in a row since coach Jason Kidd was fired.