DeMar DeRozan to replace Brandon Jennings in 2011 dunk contest

Brandon Jennings, the Milwaukee Bucks point guard who has missed 14 games with a fractured fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, has withdrawn as a contestant in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend, has learned.

While Jennings is on track to return to the Bucks’ lineup within the next two weeks, the  risk of re-injury while practicing for and participating in the dunk contest apparently caused the player and the Bucks to reconsider his involvement, sources said. A league spokesman declined to comment Wednesday and information on Jennings’ likely replacement could not be confirmed.

However, the NBA announced Thursday morning that Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan – the runner-up in last year’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest — will replace Jennings this year in Los Angeles.

Jennings, 21, hurt his foot against in an awkward spill at San Antonio on Dec. 15 and struggled to play on it three nights later against Utah. The second-year guard had surgery on Dec. 20, with an expected layoff of four to six weeks. The Bucks, 10-15 when Jennings went down, are 5-9 since. editor says: No knock on Brandon here but I have no idea why he was chosen in the first place. Obviously he’s super-athletic, but he rarely dunks. What are the odds he would suddenly turn out to have a 50-inch vertical leap when the dunk contest began? Anyway, DeRozan is a nice addition.