Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons won't play in All-Star Game due to COVID-19 contact tracing: report

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By , RADIO.COM

All-Star Sunday is off to a rocky start, especially for 76ers fans.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA will rule Philadelphia 76ers All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons out due to contact tracing after exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Wojnarowski also mentioned that "there are no plans" for the league to find replacements for either player. This news comes from initial reports, including one from NBA insider Shams Charania, that the players were exposed to their personal barber.

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers, who is also a head coach in the All-Star Game, wasn't too optimistic regarding their availability.

Embiid was voted as an All-Star starter, garnering the third-highest total votes from fans in the Eastern frontcourt behind Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo. His 30.2 points per game is the highest mark of his career to this point, and currently ranks second in the NBA, trailing only Bradley Beal (32.9). This makes four straight All-Star appearances for the star center.

Simmons was chosen as an All-Star reserve in the East. Strong defense and all-around contributions allowed Simmons to earn his third consecutive All-Star berth.

Embiid was selected by Team Durant, while Simmons was chosen relatively early in the pool of reserve players by Team LeBron.

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