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Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen replaces James Harden in All-Star game

Jarrett Allen and James Harden in Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 17: Jarrett Allen #31 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots over Day’Ron Sharpe #20 and James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on January 17, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Nets 114-107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Jarrett Allen understood why the Nets traded a role player like him (and other players and draft picks) to get a star like James Harden.

“In all honesty, I would say I would do it, I’m not going to lie,” Allen said.

In the months since, Allen has approached Harden’s level, which is why the Cavaliers center will replace an injured Harden in the All-Star game.

NBA release:

Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden on Team LeBron in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.

Allen is a perfectly fine choice. As Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Celtics wing Jaylen Brown and Raptors forward Pascal Siakam would have been.

This selection will probably please the most people.

Among those four’s teams, Cleveland (35-22) has the best record with only one All-Star (Darius Garland). Many people believe individual honors like All-Star selections are the right way to reward better teams, as if there’s no difference in supporting casts and coaching. Milwaukee (also 35-22) already has Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton as All-Stars. Trailing the Cavs in the standings, Boston (Jayson Tatum) and Toronto (Fred VanVleet) already have one All-Star.

Allen and Garland will represent the Cavaliers with All-Star Weekend in Cleveland. There’s something cool about hometown stars “hosting” this event. Now, the Cavs have two.

Plus, Allen is in the midst of a feel-good season, shining for the surprising Cavaliers after the Nets underappreciated him. He’s easy to root for.