Phoenix Suns C Deandre Ayton has been replaced by Nicolo Melli in the Rising Stars Game for Team World at NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago on Friday night. Melli, a native of Italy, will slot in for Ayton, a native of the Bahamas.
NBA just announced Pels forward Nicolo Melli (Italy) will play in the Rising Stars Game tomorrow for Team World.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) February 13, 2020
He replaces Deandre Ayton (Bahamas).
Ayton has been dealing with an ankle injury, which will hold him out this weekend. He had been playing well, averaging 20.5 points, 12 rebounds and 2.5 assists over the past 12 games. Melli, in his rookie season in the NBA, hasn’t played much. He’s averaging 6.1 points in 15.6 minutes in 42 games. Melli does have decent per 36 minute averages at 14.1 points and 6.4 rebounds, shooting 37.3% from 3-point range.