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Kevin Durant Injury Helping Magic Rookie Paolo Banchero's All-Star Chances?

Orlando Magic rookie Paolo Banchero could sneak into the All-Star conversation with Kevin Durant's status in doubt for the game.

ORLANDO - Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant's injury is sending shockwaves throughout the NBA.

Durant sprained his MCL in Sunday's win against the Miami Heat, but could be out for 2-6 weeks, according to ESPN.

ESPN says he shouldn't miss six weeks, which is the time he missed last year due to injury, but the NBA's schedule has the All-Star break in six weeks. By missing that much time, it could give Durant the proper amount of rest to heal and be completely healthy for the stretch run of the season that should prepare the Nets to make a deep run in the playoffs.

That also means that Durant, the Eastern Conference's leading vote-getter in the first All-Star voting update, could miss the inaugural game on Feb. 19.

That could open the door for the 8th-place frontcourt player, Orlando Magic rookie Paolo Banchero, to make his first All-Star appearance.

Banchero would be the first rookie to be named to the All-Star team since Blake Griffin back in 2011. He is averaging 21.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game during his rookie campaign.

Given that Banchero won't be a starter, he'll have to rely on the coaches to vote him in, possibly as a replacement for an injured player ... like Durant.

The next All-Star voting update comes January 12.

You can follow Jeremy Brener on Twitter @JeremyBrener.

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