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Report: As expected, Durant will not play in All-Star Game due to sprained knee

Vinnie Goodwill tells Michael Smith and Michael Holley that the Miami Heat may not have superstar-level across the board, but will be a difficult team to deal with because of their toughness and coaching.

When Kevin Durant suffered a sprained knee with a 4-6 week timeframe, most around the league assumed that meant he would be out for the All-Star Game, Feb. 20 in Cleveland.

Durant will be voted in as a starter for the game — he could even be the captain of a team, he was just ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo for most fan votes in the East heading into the final week — but he will not play.

TNT’s Chris Haynes confirmed it on the broadcast of the Nets’ loss to the Lakers Tuesday night: Durant will be out for the All-Star Game. This is the second consecutive year Durant will miss the All-Star Game due to injury.

Who will replace KD on the roster and as a starter? Commissioner Adam Silver gets to make that call, and he traditionally has followed the fan vote on to make that call.

That makes it easier to guess the new starter, which likely will be the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum (he is fourth in the fan vote in the East frontcourt), although Jimmy Butler is just behind Tatum and could leapfrog him in the final week.

Who gets to make the All-Star Game as a replacement on the roster depends on who the coaches select as reserves. Based on our projection of the East roster, Toronto’s Pascal Siakam would be the next Easter frontcourt player in, although Miami’s Bam Adebayo is close to him in the vote total.

There will be other additions Silver will have to make to the roster, and maybe starters. The most obvious is the Warriors’ Draymond Green, who will be re-evaluated for his back/calf issue this weekend, but could well be out until after the break.