As many know by this point, a single injury could change everything in the NBA landscape. While no one wishes these type of injuries upon anyone, they’re an unfortunate part of the game. When Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon recently aggravated a recurring hip flexor and withdrew from the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend, the fields for the remaining competitions were also altered.
Jazz rookie standout Donovan Mitchell was selected to replace Gordon in the Dunk Contest but since he was already expected to participate in the Skills Challenge, now a replacement was needed for Mitchell as well. Apparently, the NBA found their answer in Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield.
The Kings announced on Twitter that their second-year guard would be Mitchell’s replacement in the 2018 Skills Challenge:
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 5, 2018
Based around the same format as last year, guards and big men will be categorized separately once again this season. The frontcourt field also saw one of their men go down to injury as Andre Drummond was recently selected as the replacement for current champion Kristaps Porzingis.
Buddy Hield has a play style that fits well with what is asked during the Skills Challenge. Hield possesses the requisite athleticism and more importantly the vital skill and shooting touch to come away with a victory. As usual, the star-studded weekend will be intriguing yet again this year when the festivities commence on February 16th.