Jusuf Nurkic wasn't supposed to play much this season, but he's forced his way onto the court and he hasn't disappointed. Nurkic has played so well, that the Nuggets were comfortable trading Timofey Mozgov to the Cleveland Cavaliers and handing the starting keys to the rookie.

Nurkic is averaging 6.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 15.8 minutes per game this season. And in January, he's playing 21.4 minutes per game and averaging 7.8 points and 8.2 rebounds. Nurkic has a long way to go, but we were hoping that his strong showing would earn him a spot on in the All Star Weekend's Rising Stars challenge. The game this season will be The World vs. The USA. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports released the rosters today, and Nurkic did not make the cut.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>US Roster for Rising Stars Challenge on 2/13: Burke, Carter-Williams, Caldwell-Pope LaVine, Muhammad, Noel, Oladipo, Payton, Plumlee, Zeller</p>&mdash; Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpearsNBAYahoo/status/560521007933321216">January 28, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>World Roster for Rising Stars Challenge on 2/13: Adams, Antetokounmpo, Bogdanovic, Dieng, Exum, Gobert, Mirotic, Olynyk, Schroder, Wiggins.</p>&mdash; Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpearsNBAYahoo/status/560521476550295552">January 28, 2015</a></blockquote>

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It's hard to disagree on the big men selected for the team. Steven Adams has been key for the Thunder, Gorgui Dieng has been solid for the young Timberwolves, Nikola Mirotic is earning key minutes, as a rookie, in a deep Bulls frontcourt, and Kelly Olynyk has been putting up numbers with the Celtics.

Olynyk has been dealing with a right ankle sprain that could keep him out of the game, but he may be healthy enough to play.

This is disappointing, yet understandable news for Nurkic and the Nuggets.